GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 22: Celtic Manager Neil Lennon looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League Play Off First Leg match between Celtic and AIK at Celtic Park on August 22, 2019 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

According to the reports from the Shields Gazette, Scottish champions Celtic have been credited with an interest for Azerbaijan’s defensive ace Bahlul Mustafazade. The defender recently claimed that he would be open to a move abroad as that will help with his overall development. English League One outfit Sunderland are also said to be interested in the centre back.

Mustafazade on moving away

Mustafazade recently told Azerisport (Via Shields Gazette), ”Of course. I really want to. (leaving his homeland to play abroad).  I can’t name specifically which club. They did not say anything to me; there was no official proposal. But for development, it is necessary to speak abroad. I am aware of this (speculation). If there is such an option, then it must be considered.”

Celtic were linked with the 22-year-old earlier this year in April. Mustafazade had claimed that he would be willing to move to the home of the Scottish heavyweights and that he would jump at it if an offer comes his way. Nothing materialised in the summer window, and Mustafazade moved to Sabah FC in Azerbaijan from Gabala.

Do Celtic need defenders?

The Hoops spent big money in the summer to land Christopher Jullien. The former Toulouse defender has settled in well at the club and has put in some commanding displays at the back. Lennon has gone through a significant injury crisis at the back, but his side has still done well.

Kristoffer Ajer, Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed have shown their capabilities as centre backs. Jozo Simunovic is a reliable option as well once he returns from injury. Hence, there is no immediate need for the Bhoys to sign a new defender.

However, Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Sinumovic have attracted some interest in the transfer market, so maybe the Bhoys might need a replacement if they go on to leave the club. But that is unlikely to happen in January, and we don’t see the need for the Hoops to go after a defender in the winter transfer window.

Should Lennon make a move?

Mustafazade is known to be a decent ball-playing defender, and he is currently an Azerbaijan international as well. The 22-year-old is assured with the ball at his feet and that allows him to play even as a defensive midfielder. However, he hasn’t played outside of his homeland yet, and he is still an unproven quantity. With Lennon having some reliable defensive options, Celtic shouldn’t look to make a move for the international defender. Instead going after a forward seems like the logical option.

Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.