Amid reports of an array of key summer exits, the transition has begun at Parkhead under Ange Postecoglou who is keen on a new right fullback. A lot of names have surfaced over a potential summer move and according to Fabrizio Romano, Celtic have identified Aurélio Buta as one of their transfer targets alongside Nathan Byrne, Sacha Boey and Brandon Soppy.
Celtic are looking for a new right back after agreement completed to sign Carl Starfelt as centre back from Rubin Kazan. 🏴 #Celtic
Brandon Soppy is one of the options – talks ongoing also with Royal Antwerp for Portuguese right back Aurélio Buta. ⚪️🟢
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 17, 2021
The 24-year-old Royal Antwerp right-back spent his teenage days with Benfica. He had a stint with the reserves but could not make it to their senior side before being loaned out to Belgium. Antwerp roped him on permanent terms back in 2018 and the young Portuguese eventually claimed a regular status with 34 appearances last season across competitions.
The Hoops decided not to offer Jonjoe Kenny an extension following his underwhelming loan stint from Everton. The 24-year-old was tied down as Jeremie Frimpong’s successor soon after the latter left for Bayer Leverkusen in a mega-money transfer. Hatem Abd Elhamed could not settle in either despite a blistering start and the Bhoys are now exploring the market extensively to restore balance in the defensive third.
Why Celtic Should Step Up The Chase For Buta
Ralston, meanwhile, has impressed so far in the friendly outings but should keep up the good work to stake a claim in Postecoglou’s plan for the upcoming season. The Scotsman featured only once during the previous term in a stalemate against Livingston, and therefore, would not be able to handle the pressure all alone week in week out. Someone with more experience must be a priority for the right-back spot and Buta, despite being a little-known name in the European circuit, ticks many boxes to fit in the system.
The former Portugal youth international was involved in Antwerp’s thrilling 1-0 Europa League victory against Tottenham Hotspur. He played full 90 minutes (both home and away) versus Rangers in the knockout defeat and a switch to Parkhead would hand him the opportunity of seeking revenge on the Glasgow rivals.
Buta needs to work on his defensive duties but, at the same time, offers a constant threat from the right-hand flank with marauding runs, crosses and cut insides. He has also exhibited his expertise as a wingback and the attacking brand of Postecoglou would suit him more than the traditional fullback role.
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