Charlie Nicholas urges Celtic to sign Fraser Forster on a permanent deal

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Charlie Nicholas has urged Celtic to sign Fraser Forster on a permanent deal, even if it means offloading other members of the squad.

The Southampton goalkeeper is currently on loan at Celtic Park and had established himself as the club's first choice stopper under Neil Lennon.

The 32-year-old is a popular figure with the Celtic faithful after enjoying four seasons in Glasgow between 2010 and 2014 - a spell which came to an end when he joined the Saints on a permanent deal.

But after settling back into life in Scotland, Nicholas has urged the Bhoys to sign him up on a permanent basis.

Forster is unlikely to come cheap, but according to the former Arsenal man, there are several contenders for players who could make way to fund a move.

Speaking in his Daily Express column, as quoted by the Daily Record, he said: "I'd offload Olivier Ntcham as I just don't see him staying because he isn't getting enough game time.

"Scott Brown is a leader, Callum McGregor has become one, Ryan Christie is a big player and Neil Lennon will try to keep Odsonne Edouard but Fraser Forster needs to be tied down first.

"The Hoops hierarchy have to show the desire to bring the player in long term because that approach will play a big part in a deal like this.

"They spent close to £10million on Edouard because they were aware of his value and potential future worth.

"Forster is a proven talent, though, and it wouldn't be a gamble to bring him in long term even if Celtic have to push out the boat to get him.

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"Boli Bolingoli should be offloaded, too. He should have been out the door instead of Jonny Hayes.

"Striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo is another one I would get rid of in a heartbeat but that is a hard ask to try and get value for him in the current market.

"I am surprised at some of the players who have been released."

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

A permanent move for Fraser Forster is a no-brainer for me.

After spending the best part of five years at Celtic Park the 32-year-old knows exactly what it takes to be a success with the club, and the fans know that.

While he may be in the autumn of his career, Forster is likely to still have a few good years left in him and that means that Celtic could reap the benefits of his experience for several seasons to come.

It will be a big ask to compete with the finances on offer in the Premier League, but given his affinity for the club it could prove to be a shrewd move to sign him up.

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