Celtic are closing in on an eighth successive Premiership title but, at the same time, are monitoring the market to rebuild the squad for the upcoming campaign. The backline, in particular, would require an overhaul and the Hoops are reportedly keeping close tabs on Tomas Kalas who is also a target of their Old-Firm rivals Rangers, according to the Scottish Sun.
Kalas, 25, is currently on his seventh loan stint after failing to break into Chelsea’s first-team squad. He joined the Blues at the age of 16 and made his mark while featuring for their esteemed youth setup. However, his current spell with Bristol City has convinced the Scottish giants to make an approach and the centre-back, though under contract until 2021, is rumoured to be available for a fee of around £5m.
The Czech international is currently chasing a Premier League promotion with the Robins and has been closely watched by both Celtic and Rangers over the past couple of weeks.
The Hoops, as per reports, are leading the race and have identified him as Dedryck Boyata’s replacement. Boyata is set to depart for free once his contract expires at the end of the ongoing campaign whereas Filip Benkovic, too, is expected to return to his parent club Leicester to reunite with Rodgers.
Although Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic are there to slot in the heart of Celtic’s backline, successive injury woes restricted the duo from securing a starting role. Ajer is hailed as one of the brightest prospects at Parkhead but is too young to step up and deliver week in week out maintaining his form and fitness.
Kalas has evolved into a composed centre-half during his spells in the Championship and improved his physicality as well to adjust to the demands of the second tier of English football. This would help him to settle in Scotland where the league is known for its aggressiveness and high temperament. The Chelsea loanee has represented his nation in several youth ranks before making it to their senior side as a teenager. He has earned 18 caps till date and is now a regular over the past couple of years.
In spite of the aerial weakness, Kalas is intelligent enough to overcome the limitations and is known for his presence in the right place at the right time while performing defensive duties. His concentration, composure and vision would make him a success at Parkhead and the club, therefore, must make a move soon to rope him in as a recruit at the end of the season.