Russian Premier League champions Spartak Moscow haven’t had a decent start to their new season, having bagged merely 8 points from their first 7 league outings. They have conceded as many as 13 goals and such a mediocre run isn’t really expected from the defending champions. Massimo Carrera is apparently looking forward to bolstering his defensive line and have put Celtic’s Jozo Simunovic on their radar.
Simunovic has been one of the most sought after players in the continent, having proved his mettle whilst plying his trade for the Scottish champions. English Premier League outfit, Burnley, have lost their central defender, Michael Keane, to Everton this summer for a staggering transfer fee of £25million, which could rise to a club record-equalling £30million, and the Clarets are also monitoring Simunovic in order to fill the void left by Keane.
The Croatian emerged through the youth ranks of Hrvatski Dragovoljac and Dinamo Zagreb and was eventually promoted to the senior side of the latter. In the summer of 2015, the Bhoys made him put pen to the contract paper and ever since his move to the Celtic Park, he hasn’t disappointed the club and helped Brendan Rodgers in clinching the domestic treble last season. The 23-year-old has a price tag of £10million, which shouldn’t be an issue for Burnley or Spartak Moscow in dishing out.
However, at this stroke of hour, it would be utterly ludicrous on the part of the Hoops to strike him off their books. Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko are sidelined owing to their knee injuries and Simunovic is the only notable defender who Rodgers has at his disposal as of now. Celtic haven’t been very busy this summer in their recruitments owing to the knack of the former Liverpool boss to maintain group cohesiveness amongst the men he had last season and it goes without saying that he is really playing with fire.
If Celtic actually sell Simunovic, they won’t have much time to find an astute replacement. They have added merely three quality players in the shapes of Olivier Ntcham, Jonny Hayes and Kundai Benyu to their ranks, with none of them being defenders. The Glasgow giants have been put in the group comprising of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Anderlecht in the group stages of the Champions League and considering their domestic as well as European commitments, they cannot be complacent with their squad depth.
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