According to the reports from the Telegraph, Southampton are likely to want £20m or even more for their goalkeeper Fraser Forster. The 31-year-old had joined the Hoops on a season-long loan at Parkhead and Forster has been nothing sort of a revelation in goal. His performances in the big European games and the recent cup final would surely tempt Celtic to do a permanent deal for him.
Lennon has clearly indicated that he would want to bring the goalkeeper back permanently after his loan spell expires but he had warned that the Hoops needs to realistic about their chances. With the recent report from the Telegraph quoting his price tag as £20m or beyond, this would be a body blow for the Hoops in their bid to sign the English goalkeeper permanently.
Forster’s woes at Southampton
Forster had become the third choice custodian at Southampton, behind Alex McCarthy and Angus Gunn. However, Ralph Hasenhüttl hasn’t been able to fix the first choice goalkeeper so far as both Gunn and McCarthy have been in and out of the team. It is fair to say that if Forster had been available to them right now, he would have got his chances at St. Mary’s as Gunn and McCarthy haven’t instilled too much confidence with their performances.
Southampton’s loss has been Celtic’s gain so far, and Forster has been a brick wall in goal for the Bhoys. With his recent performances, he might be even able to revive his England career as well.
What now for Lennon?
Celtic’s highest ever transfer value signing is Odsonne Edouard. The French striker joined from Paris Saint-Germain for £9m. To sign Forster, the Hoops will have to shatter their record by some margin. Moreover, spending £20m on a goalkeeper could be a bit too much for the Bhoys.
Even Forster’s wages could be an issue as he reportedly earns £900,000 a year. We believe that the player might be willing to take a pay cut on that front, but convincing Southampton to sell him for cheap, especially after his recent performances could be a tough ask.
If the Saints go down a division, then they might be tempted to cash in on the player and cut down on some of their high wage earners. That could play to Celtic’s hand if he were made available on a cut-price deal. However, as things stand, £20m could be out of bounds for Lennon and Co.
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