GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Scott Brown, Erik Sviatchenko and Stuart Armstrong of Celtic celebrate during the Betfred Cup Final between Aberdeen and Celtic at Hampden Park on November 27, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

According to reports, Premier League side Southampton are now moving aggressively to land Stuart Armstrong from Scottish giants Celtic with the transfer window to close in two weeks. The midfielder has earlier been linked with the Saints but things had cooled down after initial talks. But, manager Mauricio Pellegrino has apparently monitored his situation over the summer and wants him at St. Mary’s.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, who was successful in bringing out the best from the player last season, knows he is helpless in preventing the deal from happening and has urged the player to stay with the Hoops a bit longer before trying out his luck in England. Rodgers said, “He can develop, push on this year and get more experience of European football. That will add even more value to him.”

Celtic had bought him two-and-a-half years back along with Gary Mackay-Steven in a combined deal that cost them only £2m. And although Southampton’s reported £3 million bid for him will hardly test their resolve, the player’s willingness might just help them in landing the quality player. Armstrong is already in the last year of his contract with hardly any signs of him committing to the club and Celtic will have to risk him for free next season.

Armstrong was one of the significant players for Rodgers’ treble winning side last season scoring 15 goals and seven assists in 31 Scottish Premiership games. There is no way Celtic would be leaving him so easily and definitely not for free. But given the number of players, who have made it big by crossing the clubs, it looks difficult for Armstrong not to be tempted.

Southampton have raided Parkhead time and again in the recent few years with the likes of Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster and Virgil van Dijk all making the move before taking the huge step to stardom. Things don’t look to happen any differently this time too. Celtic have always known the eventual outcome that is evident from their buying of Olivier Ntcham from Manchester City and Kundai Benyu from Ipswich.

Celtic have made a great start to their campaign by progressing in the first Champions League qualifying round followed by consecutive wins against Heart of Midlothian FC, Kilmarnock FC and Partick Thistle FC in the Scottish Premiership and Scottish League Cup. The Saints, on the other hand, started the season with a stalemate against Swansea City. Pellegrino would want all the necessary pieces before the players start to click under him.

Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.