Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Celtic Plotting A January Swoop For This Greece International: What Should Lennon Do Here?

Must Read
Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Hours after Fraser Forster’s heroics against Lazio in Europa League, rumours are surfacing from Greece over Celtic’s potential swoop for AEK Athens custodian Vasilios Barkas. According to SDNA, the Champions of Scotland are keen on tying down the 25-year-old in the winter window casting doubts over Forster’s future at Parkhead.

The 31-year-old Southampton loanee slipped down the pecking order behind Angus Gunn and Alex McCarthy following the appointment of Ralph Hasenhüttl as the new Saints boss. The South Coast outfit decided to loan Forster back to his former club where he was brought straight into the first-team action ahead of Craig Gordon and Scott Bain.

Uncertainty Over Forster’s Long-term Future?

Although the 6 ft 7 in keeper has showcased his supremacy between the sticks, Celtic might find it challenging to meet his wages considering the financial limitations of Scottish football. The Saints suffered a 9-0 humiliation at home against Leicester City yesterday night, and Forster contracted until the summer of 2020, might be reintegrated into their current set-up in the forthcoming future.

He is open to making the move permanent in Glasgow, but it is still unclear whether a pay cut would be welcomed by the England international to force the transfer.

Why Barkas Holds Everything To Make His Mark In Celtic Colours

Barkas, on the other hand, is in blistering form for his club as well as the country. The Greek professional has recorded 50 clean sheets in 88 appearances for AEK and conceded only 68 times since plying his trade from boyhood side Atromitos back in the summer of 2016. Notably, the Yellow-Blacks ‘number 1’ was in goal when the Hoops were knocked out from last season’s Champions League qualifiers and pulled off some majestic saves to defy the odds securing a 2-1 home win in the return leg fixture at Spyros Louis.

Barkas, so far, has earned ten senior caps for his nation and is highly regarded for his calmness and composure between the sticks. Goalkeepers these days try to play the ball out from the back and the Greece international, being no exception, tries to switch his game based on the mood and momentum. His distribution, positioning and reflexes earned him recognition in the recent past and Celtic, aware of his upsurge, might have decided to get this transfer done to secure the goalkeeping position for years to come.

The Verdict

Barkas, however, won’t come cheap and is valued at around £6m. Tying down Forster, therefore, must be the topmost priority with Bain continuing as the Englishman’s understudy. Craig Gordon, soon to be 37, is at the twilight of his career and the Bhoys should consider a move for their rumoured target only if they fail to secure the Saints star permanently.

Follow Our Tweets On Twitter

Latest News

Araujo, Balde, Gavi And Raphinha To Start | 4-3-3 Barcelona Predicted Lineup Vs Mallorca

Barcelona will clash heads with Mallorca at the Iberostar Stadium this Tuesday night as they look to grab maximum...

More Articles Like This