• Paul McTaggart

Rumour Roundup: 5 Celtic Summer Targets

Updated: May 21, 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic the outlook of football's summer transfer window is completely unknown. As Germany became the first major European country to restart live football behind-closed-doors this weekend, football here in Scotland remains postponed until 10 June at the earliest - with 6 weeks of conditioning advised before games should commence.

That hasn't stopped the rumour mill from turning though, and as Celtic approach a season in which we will be pursuing the holy grail of 10 in a row, recruitment will be as important as ever. We've put together a list of five players that Celtic have been linked with summer swoops for in an attempt to bring some normality back to football talk. Basically, we've had enough of the statements and conspiracies. And we're desperate to get back to the completely sane world of summer transfer rumours...

We're not ITK, this is simply a roundup of news stories linking Celtic to these players. There's a lot of water to go under the bridge before we know what next season will look like, never mind the landscape of player contracts and the transfer window.

Michal Karbownik

Current Club: Legia Warsaw

Position: Left-Back

Age: 19

It's been reported that Celtic have sent scouts to watch Karbownik on a couple of occasions this season as we look to further strengthen at left-back, despite spending £6m in this area last summer between Boli Bolingoli and Greg Taylor.

Neither of the Summer 2019 recruits have fully convinced and nailed down the left-back slot as their own, so the pursuit of Karbownik makes sense for us. Karbownik is an attack-minded full-back who appears to fit the Celtic mould.

The 19 year-old is highly-regarded and that may cause Celtic a problem. Initial reports that we could face competition from Tottenham and PSV Eindhoven have been followed with news that Barcelona are keeping tabs on him with a view to replacing Jordi Alba. How accurate that is we have no idea, but if there's any truth in it then it's difficult to see us tying up a deal for Karbownik.

Jack Clarke

Current Club: Tottenham

Position: Winger

Age: 19

News of interest in Spurs' winger Jack Clarke is nothing new. We were linked with him back in January before he completed a loan deal to English Championship side QPR. After breaking into the Leeds' first team in 2018-19, Spurs moved quickly to sign up the winger for £10m immediately loaning him back to the Elland Road side last season.

The loan stint back at Leeds was short-lived though, as he struggled to make an impact for Marcelo Bielsa second time around. Again, this is the type of signing that fits with Celtic's transfer policy in recent seasons. A loan move for a promising youngster from a Premier League club is a movie we've seen many times before to vary degrees of success with Patrick Roberts and Daniel Arzani from Manchester City - and Charly Musonda (who knows what he was) from Chelsea.

This one could have legs in it, Marian Shved has failed to make any sort of impact and the future of Mohammed Elyounoussi is still unknown. However, there's no doubt Clarke would have to raise his game to make the cut at Celtic after his recent underwhelming loan moves.

Brandon Soppy

Current Club: Rennes

Position: Right-Back

Age: 18

Over on the other flank at right-back, we've seen Jeremie Frimpong explode into the team this season. However, Elhamed's injury problems and Moritz Bauer's underwhelming loan stint mean that this position also still needs remedied.

18-year-old Brandon Soppy from Rennes is another highly-rated young full-back we've been linked to and the French market is one that Celtic have excelled in recently. Moussa Dembele, Odsonne Edouard, Olivier Ntcham and Christopher Jullien have all been successful acquisitions. Celtic is undoubtedly growing as a desirable destination for young French players due to the success of guys like Dembele, Edouard & Ntcham.

Soppy is also being tracked by AS Monaco and RB Leipzig, with a price tag of around £7million. This may prove a little steep for such a young player untested at first-team level but there's no doubt Soppy would be an exciting signing given the success of young French players at Celtic Park recently.

Florin Andone

Current Club: Galatasaray (On loan from Brighton)

Position: Striker

Age: 27

A story from Turkey has linked us with a move for Brighton striker Florin Andone. The partnership of Leigh Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard has worked brilliantly for us in the second half of this season but many supporters would attest that we do need some backup in that position.

Andone joined Brighton for £5m in 2018 but has struggled to make a real impact in the Premier League with 4 goals in 26 appearances at Brighton. Andone is not perhaps the typical profile of Celtic's signings in the past few years at 27 and a move for the Romanian does seem unlikely.

Abdul Mumin Suleman

Current Club: FC Nordsjaelland

Position: Centre-back

Age: 21

If you asked most supporters I think the other position of priority this summer would be centre-half. Jozo Simunovic is entering the final year of his contract this summer and after his injury problems, we are light in that position with only Jullien, Ajer and converted midfielder Bitton to call on.

Suleman has made over 40 appearances in Nordsjaelland's first team and at 6ft3 he's an imposing figure. The financial aspect of this deal would be alluring for Celtic, as the 21-year-old is out of contract this summer. He has been linked with English Premier League clubs, including Brighton, so we're likely to face competition for the Ghanian if we want to bring him to Celtic Park.

I hope this wee roundup has given you an escape from reading about coronavirus football for five minutes and while they might all be baseless paper talk, at least we can dream about a normal-ish summer of football transfer rumours. It's the little things that get you through...

Let us know if you liked it and if you'd like to see more written content around transfers (because there's definitely not enough of that already!).


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