Celtic in preliminary talks to sign 33-cap international

Shane Duffy pre-match

Celtic’s pursuit of ten titles in a row has taken a huge blow this past week.

If Rangers win at the weekend, they will go eight points clear of their fierce rivals after just a matter of weeks.

For once, it’ll be the Hoops having to play catch-up.

Whether that provides a bit of extra pressure for the Bhoys to deal with remains to be seen, but their confidence is unlikely to have been helped by the ongoing situation. 

Boli Bolingoli is the man at fault, failing to quarantine after a trip to Spain and then playing against Kilmarnock last weekend. 

It’s not a pretty situation as Nicola Sturgeon was forced to postpone two of their games.

Bolingoli felt the wrath of Neil Lennon after the incident and is now the subject of a loan offer from Amiens. For everyone involved, it’s best that he quits Parkhead.

Boli Bolingoli

Celtic’s attention, as a result, has turned to improving their defence. Leeds defender Barry Douglas has been linked with a move but it’s another Premier League player who looks closer to making the switch.

Reports from Football Insider have stated that the Bhoys are now in preliminary talks to sign Brighton centre-back Shane Duffy.

Any deal that’s concluded will be a loan one, with Graham Potter willing to allow a temporary move for the Irishman.

That being said, the Hoops face considerable competition from clubs in England to land the 6 foot 4 central defender.

West Ham, Sheffield United and West Brom are also interested in a swoop for the 28-year-old.

Shane Duffy in action for Brighton

GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…

It wasn’t long ago that Duffy was one of the stand-out defenders in the top-flight of English football.

Throughout the 2018/19 season he was terrific, featuring on 35 occasions and scoring five goals in the process. He also won 5.3 aerial duels per game and completed a monumental 6.9 clearances. 

All of those numbers decreased in 2019/20, with the 33-cap international playing just 19 times. 

He may have been dislodged as a regular member of Brighton’s backline, but a loan move to Celtic could be exactly what he needs to rejuvenate his career.

Shane Duffy in action for Ireland

After all, he’s still a top defender and also has the seal of approval from Martin O’Neill. The former Celtic boss managed Duffy when in charge of the Republic of Ireland and clearly rates him highly.

Speaking in 2019, he said: “But Duffy was great for me. He scored a big goal against Denmark there again recently – another big header, so well done him.

“Considering the problems he’s had, the health problems when his spleen was in bits, it’s excellent so well done him. He’s a good old character.” 

Duffy certainly has an excellent mentality and would surely fit right in at Parkhead.

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