Celtic are reportedly showing an interest in signing Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster this summer, but it would be a strange decision by Ralph Hasenhuttl to let him leave St Mary’s.
According to journalist Alan Nixon, Celtic are interested in taking the 33-year-old back on loan next season and have entered talks with the Saints over a potential deal.
One sticking point in any potential loan deal is the issue of Forster’s wages, with the report from Nixon claiming that he earns £130,000 per week at Southampton, with Celtic only willing to pay around a third of that.
Hasenhuttl suggested earlier in the year that he would once again use Alex McCarthy and Forster as his first team goalkeepers for the 2021/22 campaign, with the two shot-stoppers likely to alternate in between the sticks based on form, as they did last season.
It seemed as if the Austrian preferred McCarthy at first because of his ability with the ball at his feet, but the former QPR man lost confidence after the 9-0 hammering against Manchester United, and with Forster impressing in the FA Cup, he was given a run in the first team.
The former England international impressed at times and emphasised that he still has the ability to play for Southampton in the top flight, so it would be baffling if he were allowed to rejoin the Hoops on loan, especially with third-choice ‘keeper Angus Gunn having already completed a permanent move to Norwich City.
Given that the season kicks off in less than a month, Southampton could be heading for disaster if they allow Forster to depart without bringing in a replacement, as it would leave just Harry Lewis as competition in the first team, which would not please Southampton fans given their less than impressive defensive record last season.
It is no surprise that Celtic are keen on Forster given his “outstanding” performances for the Scottish Premiership side in the past, but unless they can convince Ange Postecoglou’s side to pay a significant portion of his wages, as well as having a replacement lined up, Southampton should not let Forster leave on loan this summer.