Celtic will have to pay club-record fee to sign robust defender

Omar Colley and Romelu Lukaku

And breathe. Celtic’s topsy-turvy two-week period was rescued somewhat last weekend.

After a totally embarrassing fortnight, Neil Lennon’s side bounced back and defeated Motherwell 3-0 on Sunday.

It was a result that would have calmed the nerves as the Hoops narrowed the gap from nine points to six points between themselves and arch-rivals Rangers.

This has been a difficult campaign for the Bhoys so far. Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer continue to be linked with moves away while they have no place in the Champions League. 

Celtic were knocked out in the second qualifying round last week, capping off a whirlwind period where they also had two SPFL games postponed. 

That was because of the crazy behaviour of Boli Bolingoli. The less said about his trip to Spain, the better. 

The Hoops are now out of that horrible time. They’ve signed David Turnbull and look on the verge of adding Shane Duffy to their ranks as well. 

Neil Lennon gesticulating

However, the Irishman doesn’t look as though he’ll be the only central defender walking through the door.

That’s because despite Lennon’s words last week, Celtic are still interested in Sampdoria centre-back Omar Colley.

Asked about the 27-year-old and a supposed bid, the manager said: “I can deny it, yes. I’m not aware of that at all.”

Italian media have since claimed that they are still trying to do a deal for the 13-cap Gambia international. 

CalcioMercato revealed that Celtic are keeping an eye on his situation in a deal that could cost them a club-record fee.

The report states that Sampdoria want ‘double digits’ for the player, suggesting Nick Hammond would have to beat the club-record fee of £9m they paid for Edouard.

Omar Colley

GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…

If Ajer leaves Glasgow behind this summer then Celtic will ideally need to sign two central defenders. 

Duffy’s imminent arrival on loan from Brighton will go some way to replacing the large frame of Jozo Simunovic but if another defender leaves, they’ll be left with the same problem as they had before.

Therefore, adding someone like Colley makes a lot of sense.

Celtic have been keen to bolster their ranks with a robust player, being linked with Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie earlier this summer too.

Omar Colley vs Milan

In MLS, he has won two tackles per match this year. Compare that to Colley, and you’ll see a slight difference but still enough similarities to their style of play.

The Sampdoria defender won 1.4 tackles a game last term but showed he’s not afraid to get stuck in by being shown a yellow card on no fewer than ten occasions. 

Fortunately, Colley is also a strong passer, something that would help replace Ajer sufficiently. He completed 81.4% of his passes in 2019/20. 

That being said, is he really worth the potential record fee they’d have to pay? It’s a difficult one for Hammond to work out. 

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