Celtic in the race to sign young defender

Lennon

Celtic are in the hunt for a record ten titles in a row next season.

Neil Lennon's men reigned supreme yet again last term but their bid to improve even more was dealt a blow this week.

Their pursuit of Fraser Forster took a hit after it was claimed Southampton wanted him to try and compete for the number one spot with current stopper Alex McCarthy.

His wages, which are just shy of £100k-a-week are also reportedly a sticking point the Hoops.

Though, there was positive news when they confirmed another season-long loan deal for Moi Elyounoussi.

Celtic look as though they could be one of the busiest clubs in the transfer market with numerous goalkeepers touted with a move.

Joe Hart, David Marshall and Vaclav Hladky have all been touted as possible Forster alternatives but it remains unclear who their main choice is.

Forster

However, it also appears as though Celtic are in the mood to improve the defensive line in front of the 'keeper.

That's according to the Daily Mail who suggest the club are in the race to sign Benfica defender Braniar Kalaica.

The 22-year-old is also linked with Watford and Leeds in a deal that could come at a bargain price.

Transfermarkt value the player at just £608,000 while Kalaica is out of favour at the back due to the amount of numbers the Portuguese side have in defence. 

Benfica have high hopes for the player but given he's not a regular, the centre-back could leave in search of first-team football this summer.

Lennon

GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

Kalaica is yet to appear for Benfica's senior side this season and at the age of 22, you ought to think he should be on his way out.

He's struggled to adapt to life in Portugal but considering he's still with the club, the defender is clearly highly thought of.

A player who knows how to keep the ball on the deck, registering a pass success rate of 83% in the U21 European Championships last summer, there are reasons to believe Nick Hammond could finally replace Filip Benkovic.

Benkovic

The Croatian was on loan last campaign from Leicester before returning to the Foxes but there are plenty of similarities between the two irrespective of their nationality.

Both defenders like to play out from the back and they both stand tall.

Kalaica is a colossal figure at 6 foot 3 and would arrive as a willing squad player for Lennon to utilise.

With Jozo Simunovic departing on a free transfer, they could do with more bodies in defence. Kalaica would be exactly that.

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