Celtic head into the international break full of confidence again.
For a period of two weeks, they looked in serious bother. Off the pace in the SPFL and lagging behind their old nemesis Rangers, this wasn’t the start Neil Lennon had in mind when pursuing ten in a row.
Two postponed games were followed by a European nightmare. It felt like everything was going wrong for the Hoops.
They are no longer in the Champions League, losing out on some serious revenue, but they returned to winning ways last weekend.
Buoyed by the addition of David Turnbull, Celtic confidently dispatched Motherwell 3-0.
It appears as though Albian Ajeti is finding life in Scotland far easier than he did in England too, bagging his second goal for the Bhoys.
Celtic added a further body to their ranks this week as Shane Duffy signed a season-long loan deal with the Glaswegians.
Further business looks as though it could be concluded with Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer regularly linked away, but the club’s name has now been mentioned alongside someone with 11 caps for Scotland.
A few months ago it was suggested that free agent Ryan Fraser could move back to the SPFL and sign for Celtic, but it was a rumour that went rather flat.
However, as the race to sign him hots up, the Hoops have once again been mentioned in the same breath as the winger.
Fraser left Bournemouth behind earlier this season in order to pursue a move to a bigger club, but his destination hasn’t yet been chosen.
According to The Telegraph, Newcastle believe they have agreed personal terms with the 26-year-old and are now just waiting for the player to determine whether he wants to move to St James’ Park.
Celtic are then quoted as still being interested in the player.
GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…
This is a deal that now looks as though it would be hard to complete. Newcastle believe they pretty much have a deal sewn up so it would take some convincing for him to suddenly pick Celtic.
Fraser is someone who reportedly wanted £100k-a-week earlier in the window too, so his demands would have to be significantly reduced if he came to Scotland. After all, that salary simply isn’t something the Hoops can afford.
It should come as a blow for Nick Hammond and co if they can’t get a deal over the line, though – Fraser would have added a great deal of quality to the wide positions at Parkhead.
That’s an area where Celtic have been keen to strengthen this summer. They have just two out and out options on the flanks with Moi Elyounoussi and James Forrest utilised there so far this term.
Adding someone like Fraser, therefore, would have solved plenty of issues. He is a creative demon, laying on 15 assists in 2018/19, while he also has the seal of approval from Gordon Strachan.
“You think, ‘wow, he’s not scared of anybody’. He’s a modern-day footballer, like the Dortmund and Tottenham guys, who close down and pressure people,” the former Celtic boss said in 2017.
This would be an inspired piece of business, especially on a free transfer.
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