According to the latest reports from the Daily Record, Celtic are set to launch a bid of £5m for former Manchester United midfielder Paddy McNair. It seems that after failing to land Turnbull, Neil Lennon is now going to pursue other targets, and the Middlesbrough man is said to be high on his shopping list.
However, the Hoops will have some company to fend off to get his signature as new Premier League entrants Sheffield United are also said to be interested. It is believed that McNair’s versatility is something which appeals to Celtic, and that is why they are willing to launch a bid.
Why Celtic need a midfielder?
Turnbull was more of an attack-minded midfielder whereas McNair is more defensive. So McNair is not exactly a replacement for Turnbull, but Celtic should anyway want to bring in a defensive midfielder. Scott Brown is going to stay at the club for now, but he isn’t a long term option anymore as he is 34.
Olivier Ntcham and Callum McGregor are being linked with a move away from the club so Lennon might be short on midfield options if there is a departure. Even if no one leaves, the signing of McNair makes sense as he can be a long term replacement for someone like Brown as the Northern Irish star is still 24.
What can McNair bring to Parkhead?
McNair is known to be comfortable on the ball, and he can carry the ball out from the back. Defensively too, he reads the dangers well before they can develop. A player like McNair wouldn’t make the headlines, but often these players are necessary for the team to function cohesively.
As mentioned above, it’s his versatility that is intriguing Celtic here. The former Sunderland player is adept at playing as a centre back as well. He made just over 25 appearances for Manchester United before he was let go by the club. McNair also filled in as a right back at Old Trafford, and Louis Van Gaal once went on to claim that he can become Manchester United’s right back for the next ten years.
That didn’t happen, but his ability to fill in various positions will be a big plus. Celtic have secured the signing of Christopher Jullien from Toulouse, but the Hoops might still need to add one more option in central defence and at right back. So, McNair could be the guy for Lennon who will be a jack of all trades. Will he become the master of something at Celtic? Only time will tell us that.