According to the latest reports from the Express, Celtic are eyeing a deal for Olympiacos fullback Omar Elabdellaoui. The 27-year-old is a Norwegian international and is team-mates with Celtic’s defender Kristoffer Ajer. The right-back is being eyed as a replacement for Mikael Lustig who has struggled in the Hoops’ colours for quite some time now.
The Bhoys have also been linked with Belgium international Timothy Castagne, but it seems like that rumour might take a backseat now. Elabdellaoui rose up from Manchester City’s academy and later went on to leave the club in search of regular playing time. The right-back has been at Olympiacos since 2014 and has won three League titles with them and is currently vying for a fourth one.
Elabdellaoui is being valued at £4m, and that could be the reason why Celtic are probably shifting their attention from Castagne who is valued at £10m by Serie A outfit Atlanta. Also, Lazio are in the mix to sign Castagne. On the other hand, the Norwegian is a much cheaper option and it remains to be seen whether Celtic would make a concrete offer for the fullback in the next few days.
It is no surprise that the Hoops are active in the transfer window after having a poor summer window in 2018. They solved their attacking woes by bringing in the likes of Vakoun Issouf Bayo and Timothy Weah and are now turning their attention towards their backline.
Lustig has been behind some glaring errors especially in tough Europa League games. The Swedish international’s performance has been below par for quite some time now. The defender usually gets away with it in the Scottish Premiership as Celtic tend to dominate most of their games, but Lustig has often been found out against tough opponents.
The defender is in the last year of his contract and it remains to be seen whether the Hoops would offer the 31-year-old a new deal. Backup option Cristian Gamboa is also in the final six months of his deal so going for a right back in this transfer window makes sense.
Elabdellaoui is a typical modern day full back, and his pace and dribbling skills are his major assets. Such attributes even allow him to play further up the pitch as a right midfielder. However, adjusting to a new league might take time, but the 27-year-old is a decent bet as he has plenty of experience and has had appearances in the Premier League and the Bundesliga with the likes of Hull City (On loan) and Eintracht Braunschweig respectively. This deal makes all the sense in the world and Rodgers should ideally look to get this one done.