Celtic transfer news: Contact made over £4m signing

  • John  Reid
Rubin Kazan start and Celtic target Karl Starfelt in action for Sweden

Celtic are in talks with Rubin Kazan over a £4m deal for centre-back Carl Starfelt, the Daily Record reports.

What is the latest transfer news involving Carl Starfelt?

The report suggests that the Hoops are on the look out for a defender to replace Kristoffer Ajer, who could be set to leave the Glasgow club before the end of the transfer window with Norwich keen on signing the Norwegian, and that contact has been made with Kazan about bringing the 26-year-old to Celtic Park.

How did Starfelt perform for Rubin Kazan?

Starfelt has been a key man for Rubin Kazan since joining the club from IFK in 2019. This season he made 31 appearances, scoring three goals and also contributing three assists.

The player's statistics on WhoScored show why Ange Postecoglou seems so keen on bringing Starfelt to Celtic.

This season the Swedish international made an average of 3.9 clearances per game, as well as 1.1 tackles, and 1.4 interceptions per game. He also won 1.6 aerial battles per match, and his pass success percentage was a highly creditable 91.4%.

How badly do the Hoops need to sign a defender?

Celtic need to sign players in a few areas of the pitch in the current transfer window, and centre-back is one of the more pressing areas.

Of those who contributed last season, Christopher Jullien is injured, Shane Duffy has departed the club and as already stated, Kristoffer Ajer's future is in doubt.

That leaves Stephen Welsh, Nir Bitton and the recently signed from Sheffield Wednesday Osaze Urhoghide as the centre-backs who seem guaranteed to be fit and available for Celtic when the transfer window closes.

Postecoglou likely won't be satisfied with that, and that may be why the Hoops are in contact with Rubin Kazan and have also been linked with a move for Hadjuk Split centre-back Marko Vuskovic. 

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What could Celtic's centre-back situation look like next season?

Should the Hoops manage to sign Starfelt, then it will be interesting to see what the club's centre-back situation will be like for the start of 2021/22.

Once he is fit, Jullien will most likely be one of the first choice centre-backs for Postecouglou. He was signed for £7m and was a regular for the Hoops, making 61 appearances, until his knee injury struck.

You have to imagine that Starfelt will be first choice too considering the price-tag but after the progress that 21-year-old Welsh made this season - registering 21 appearances - he could regularly feature as well. 

Maybe Vuskovic will sign for the Hoops as well. After all, you can't have too many centre-backs in the squad, and Postecoglou will want to improve on Celtic's performances in defence last season having conceded more than twice as many league goals as Rangers.

It could take time for the new look defence to get things right, but that is the gamble that clubs have to take when recruiting at the back.

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