Ronny Deila just can’t seem to make it work in European competition. The Celtic chief again watched his side mauled at the hands of Molde, leaving the Bhoys needing to beat both Ajax and Fenerbahce to escape from the group stages of the Europa League.
They are, of course, top of the SPFL and chasing their fifth consecutive title, which has got to count for something. However, the lack of competitiveness in Europe has led to questions surrounding the Norwegian’s ability to manage a club with such a proud history on the continent.
Whether it is down to Deila’s tactical nous, or the fact he feels he requires further investment is up for debate. What is clear though, is that the a big signing is likely to lift the mood and help the Scottish giants push on next year, as they are all but dead certs to push for a place in at least one of the two tiers of European competition.
He recently expressed his desire to sign a former Celtic star, though opted not to name the player in question. Speculation is rife ahead of the New Year, as you might expect for a huge club like Celtic.
Here are FIVE January transfer window rumours that may actually happen.
Celtic have been linked with making a move for Erik Sviatchenko, a 24-year old defender at moneyball outfit FC Midtjylland.
The Danish ace has managed to dislodge ex-Liverpool man Daniel Agger for a place in the national setup, and is understood to have a £1.5m buyout clause in his contract. After some heroic performances, he has attracted interest from all over Britain – with Bournemouth and West Brom also thought to be keeping an eye over proceedings.
The 24-year-old would represent quite the snip at just £1.5m, and could prove to be a gem in a similar fashion to ex-Bhoys star Virgil van Dijk.
Real Madrid forward Martin Odegaard has long been linked with a loan move to Scotland, in order to link up with compatriot Ronny Deila at Parkhead. The 16-year-old has not appeared in senior competition since making his La Liga debut, and Los Blancos are said to be keen on farming him out on loan.
He would be quite a coup for Celtic, as he is one of the most exciting young talents in world football. Before moving to the Spanish capital, he had been pursued by a host of top European clubs despite his tender years.
The potential arrival is likely to lift the squad, and certainly provide an attacking option.
Real Zaragoza have been knocked back with a bid, with Madrid understood to prefer their youngster to cut his teeth with Celtic.
The Bhoys boss admitted that he wishes to land players who ‘have already been at Celtic before and want to come back.’
The rather mysterious comment has seen both Everton winger Aiden McGeady and Hull forward Shaun Maloney linked with moves north of the border. The Norwegian admitted that salary could be an issue with making a sensational swoop, but the emotional pull the club has, could easily count for something.
McGeady would truly be a wonderful addition to the squad, and can’t seem to find a regular starting berth at Goodison Park. A return for the Irish star would give the whole club a huge lift.
Maloney, less so perhaps, but still a useful addition. Either of the two would be a great signing, and truly take the Celtic squad to new levels.
Circulating reports last month suggested Manchester United forward James Wilson had agreed to join the SPFL league leaders on a loan deal from January until the end of the season.
The 19-year old frontman has been linked with a host of Championship clubs as he struggles to impose himself ahead of Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney in the Red Devils’ attack, despite their struggles in front of goal.
He is likely to provide competition with Leigh Griffiths up top should he arrive, and offer an alternative to the likes of Carlton Cole in attacking areas. Like the Odegaard rumour, it could be a great chance for a young talent at a big club to garner an understanding at another prestigious outfit.
Former Celtic star David Moyes was recently sacked as manager of Real Sociedad after just under a year at the helm in Spain. The Scot hasn’t had the best time of it since leaving Everton, as he infamously replaced Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager for less than a season.
Now, the 52-year-old, who played for the Bhoys between 1980 and 1983, has been linked with making a move over to Glasgow to replace under fire boss Ronny Deila. The appointment would certainly mean a much bigger name is in charge at the club, but his last two jobs have ended in disaster.
Should he replace Deila mid-season, it is unlikely to throw the Hoops off their seemingly inevitable title win. It could be a good move, especially with the prospect of Rangers returning to the top tier next season and the increased competition that will bring.
Though his stock has understandably plummeted in recent years, Moyes did an excellent job with Everton, and was perhaps unlucky to simply be the man who directly replaced Sir Alex. His time in Spain was barely ground breaking, but important to remember he fought off relegation in his first season there, taking the club into 12th place.