According to Betvictor, Celtic are no longer in the race for Stoke City defender, Ryan Shawcross. The site has completely removed betting options over the rumoured move, leaving Newcastle United with an open path for the 30-year-old’s signature.
Brendan Rodgers might be looking to set up even more ambitious plans with the Hoops after registering what was their second consecutive treble in the domestic stage. The former Liverpool head coach wants to further the talent pool at Celtic Park and is scouring the market for talented options within the club’s financial limits.
Following Stoke’s relegation to the EFL Championship Shawcross could have been made available for cheap even with 3 seasons left in his current contract. The Englishman is a reliable defensive fit and has stood out from the rest of his teammates this past season.
Shawcross has been with the Potters for over a decade now and is a club legend with over 400 total appearances under his belt. The Manchester United academy graduate impressed during his first season out on loan to the Staffordshire-based outfit and was brought in on a permanent basis in the summer of 2008.
Standing at 6 feet 3 inches, Shawcross is a defensive rock who can lead your side on regular basis. He fits the picture of all old-fashioned English defender mostly due to his grit and the high physicality he brings to the game.
The veteran is not shy about making those ambitious challenges and is very strong in aerial duels. He could have been the missing piece to the Celtic puzzle but also a surplus to their current requirements.
Celtic currently have cemented starters in Kristoffer Ajer and Dedryck Boyata in the centre-back position with Jozo Simunovic, Jack Hendry and Marvin Compper as the backup. Ajer is one of the best young talents in the Hoops lineup and has just signed a new long-term contract.
Boyata is still holding out on a new deal but is fitting to Rodgers’ needs. Shawcross would have been a major upgrade over the 27-year-old Belgian but the move would have come at a price.
He is on the north side of 30 and has never played outside of England, other than that one loan spell he had with Belgian outfit, Antwerp.
The Bhoys will need top-pedigree talents along with the tactical backing to make a mark on the European stage next term. Shawcross could have made a difference but Rodgers cannot afford to lose sleep over the failed move.