According to the latest report from the Scottish Sun, Celtic have cooled their interest for Middlesbrough’s versatile midfielder Paddy McNair. A piece of news from Daily Record had earlier emerged that the Hoops were willing to launch a bid as Lennon was impressed with his versatility. But the latest reports now maintains that the Bhoys are not as interested in Mcnair as it was thought initially.
The former Manchester United midfielder didn’t manage to get regular game time under Tony Pulis last season. Sheffield United who made it to the Premier League are also said to be interested. There is no clarity yet on what prompted Celtic to cool their interest in this Northern Ireland international.
McNair came up from Manchester United’s academy but only managed to make 25 odd appearances for them at the top level. He impressed on occasions, playing as a centre back and a right back. So much so that former United manager Louis Van Gaal went on to claim that he could be his side’s right back for the next ten years.
What can McNair bring at Parkhead?
The 24-year-old is typically a defensive midfielder, but he can easily slot in as a centre back as well. Last season, Pulis used him on the right side of the back three on occasions. Blessed with good qualities on the ball, McNair can fill in as the right back too. The former Sunderland player is calm and composed in possession and can pick out the right pass. Defensively too, he reads the dangers well.
We expect the Hoops to add one more centre back to their squad along with a right back as well. Scott Brown is also not getting any younger. Therefore the club might have an eye on bringing in his long term replacement. McNair can be a jack of all trades for Lennon as he can do various jobs in different positions.
Is Lennon making a mistake by not going after McNair?
We are not sure yet, but it could have to do with the player’s price or wages. Or maybe the midfielder prefers a move to the Premier League with Sheffield United. Some might feel that the reported £5m price tag for a bits and pieces player is too much.
However, McNair is still 24, and he can have a long term impact at Celtic Park. We for one, think that Lennon is making a mistake by cooling off his interest in this former Manchester United player.