If a report from footmercato.net is believed to be true, Celtic are keen on Nimes star Zinedine Ferhat over a potential January swoop. The Hoops have already announced the arrival of the Japanese trio Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi and Reo Hatate but are keen on further reinforcements to keep pace with Rangers in the title race.
Ferhat was heavily linked with the Gers all summer even though an Ibrox switch never materialized. However, he might still end up in Glasgow with his current deal set to expire at the end of the ongoing campaign. Nimes should sanction a winter transfer in a cut-price deal rather than losing him for nothing next summer and his minuscule valuation appeals to the Celts who have undergone disruption due to injury concerns.
The 28-year-old Algeria international was the standout performer for Les Crocodiles during 2020-21. But his 6 goals and 10 assists in 33 league appearances (stats via Transfermarket) were not enough to maintain the top-flight status. Nimes are currently demoted to the second tier and the versatile playmaker is ready to ply his trade elsewhere amid interest from Montpellier and Saint-Etienne along with the Glasgow giants.
Why Celtic Should Secure His Services
Ferhat has exhibited his expertise down the right, left as well as in a ‘number 10’ role. He has also featured as a centre-forward and his flexibility would help Ange Postecoglou deal with the absence of David Turnbull over the next couple of months. A tweak in the set-up suits his style and the adaptability depicted in France should see him attuning to the aggression and physicality of Scottish football.
Celtic are six points behind bitter rivals Rangers in their battle of reconquering the league crown. A summer overhaul has worked stupendously overcoming initial jitters and the Bhoys are still pretty much relevant in the title hunt despite the Light Blues’ exquisite run of form under new chief Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Although they have the likes of James Forrest and Liel Abada to feature from the right, Ferhat would offer depth as well as quality considering the fitness woes of Forrest and the inconsistency of Abada. Moreover, they are still in Europe to take part in the inaugural Conference League and the upcoming fixture congestion might prove tricky for the Parkhead heavyweights given the high intensity and pressing football of Postecoglou.
Ferhat would challenge and cover the wide attackers, also slot in the middle of the park with a view of operating in the advanced areas. Celtic, therefore, must step up the chase and secure his services before the window is slammed shut.