Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Celtic To Face Competition From Bundesliga Outfit For Defensive Ace: What Should Be Lennon’s Play?

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Ayush Chaurasia
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.

According to the reports from Greek website Sdna.Gr, Celtic will face competition from Bundesliga side Mainz for the signature of AEK Athens’ goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas. Mainz have reportedly contacted intermediaries to get a deal done for the Greek international stopper.

It is believed that AEK will demand close to €6-7m for the 25-year-old. Barkas’ current contract expires in 2022, and it is understandable why the Greece outfit is valuing him at such price. The goalkeeper is also a ten-time international.

Do Celtic need goalkeepers?

The Hoops managed to sign Fraser Forster on a season-long loan this summer after Scott Bain suffered a hand injury. The Scotsman is close to recovering, and he recently signed a new deal with the Hoops which showed that he is going to be at the club for the long run.

However, Bain could very likely play second fiddle to Forster this season given the way the Englishman has performed so far. Quite a few of the Celtic faithful would want to see Forster joining permanently in the summer of 2020, but the Hoops might have to pay a premium price for Forster. The Englishman’s current contract with Saints is up until 2022, and we think that he will cost more than the €6-7m for which Celtic could get Barkas.

Craig Gordon could be the third choice option soon when Bain becomes available. He is likely to leave the club by next season as his deal expires in the summer of 2020. Therefore Celtic could lose two goalkeepers by next summer, and it is understandable why the Hoops are eying a move for a new custodian.

What should be Lennon’s play?

25-year-old Barkas stands in at 6’5, and he is highly regarded in his homeland. He is known to have sharp reflexes, and his positioning is also usually on point. Barkas also has Champions League experience under his belt.

Forster is already 31, and he could very likely cost more than Barkas. The English goalkeeper is unlikely to have a high resale value given his age. On the other hand, the deal for Barkas will be a better business move as he is currently just 25, which is relatively young for a goalkeeper. He will also be more in Celtic’s budget.

On the other hand, most of the club faithful would want to see a proven quantity like Forster being signed permanently in the summer. Moreover, he has been a Celtic hero in the past, so there is some sentimental motivation as well, which might push the team management to go for him.

However, looking at the future, Barkas could be a decent bet and a better move from a business point of view. It could really come down on what Lennon and the team management would want. If Forster isn’t going to be available for £5-6m, then the Hoops should opt for Barkas.

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