Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has refused to rule out a move for Liverpool star Joe Allen after confirming he has been given the go-ahead to pursue established players this summer.
Rodgers took charge of the Scottish champions last month but has yet to make a real impact on the squad. However, with a Champions League qualifier to look forward to next month, big plans are afoot.
The former Liverpool and Swansea boss has been granted permission to abandon the club's 'buy young, sell big' policy and will instead look to bring established players to Parkhead.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Although he knows he will come under the limitations of Scottish football, Rodgers believes he has the funds to sign one of two players of Premier League quality.
He told reporters: "Every club will run on affordability and availability. I understand the market. I know that I can’t go out and get Luis Suarez, I know that. But I know that the club will push to get the best possible player that we can and that’s what they have done."
And the best possible player may well be someone like Allen, who Rodgers originally brought to Anfield from Swansea in a deal worth £15million. The Welsh midfielder has been up and down during his four years at Anfield and is expected to leave this summer.
If he does become available it appears Celtic will be amongst the clubs vying for his signature, at least that is what Rodgers appeared to suggest.
"Joe is a wonderful player," said Rodgers, who was unable to rule out a bid. "I always look at all my former players. All I ever want is the highest quality."
Allen had earned praise from Jurgen Klopp in a season of highs and lows for both the player and the club. However, the German manager has yet to offer him an extension on his contract, which is due to expire next summer.
That appears to suggest Klopp's intentions to cash in on him. Marko Grujic is arriving from Red Star Belgrade ahead of next season and plays exactly the same defensive role that Allen has occupied. Liverpool are ready to sell but want to claw back all of their original £15m investment.
Other clubs have sensed a chance to sign a quality midfielder and have thus registered their interest. The Daily Mail claim as many as five clubs – Swansea, Leicester, Stoke, Bournemouth and Sevilla – are interested. It now appears you can add Celtic to that list.
Celtic are also interested in Danny Graham, who is a free agent after being released by Sunderland.