If a report from Football Scotland is believed to be true, Celtic are now closing in on Alexandro Bernabei having secured the services of Cameron Carter-Vickers on permanent terms. They are keen on bolstering the backline and the Lanus’ left fullback has been identified to challenge and cover Greg Taylor in the first-team set-up.
Bernabei is not the only player the Hoops have scouted in recent months. Hammarby left-back Mohanad Jeahze and Francisco Ortega of Velez Starfield, and even his teammate Julian Aude have been on the radar. But the 21-year-old Argentine has emerged as the preferred choice following his emergence over the past couple of years.
Bernabei, the Argentina youth international, has progressed through the academy ranks of Lanus before breaking into their senior side back in October 2019. He eventually earned a regular role down the left, and Celtic, aiming for more depth as well as quality across the pitch, must have been impressed by his agility and relentlessness.
The Hoops, meanwhile, roped in Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo as Kieran Tierney’s successor three years ago. Although the Belgian failed miserably to justify his reputation, Taylor’s arrival from Kilmarnock restored the stability to a certain extent. The Scotsman has cemented a starting status, but his performances have often been under scrutiny for lack of consistency in the attacking third.
Why Celtic Need Reinforcement Down The Left
The signing of Liam Scales last summer could have resolved the conundrum. However, the Irishman had rare minutes under Ange Postecoglou during the 2021-22 campaign. He is now drawing interest from Aberdeen over a potential transfer before pre-season. The former Shamrock Rovers defender should aim for a fresh start elsewhere and a move to Pittodrie might hand him that escape route, particularly after the appointment of fellow countryman Jim Goodwin as the new Dons boss.
Celtic are well equipped on the right with Anthony Ralston competing with Josip Juranovic for gametime. The Croatia international was also deployed as a left-back in the absence of Taylor, whereas teenage prodigy Adam Montgomery featured as well on a number of occasions prior to his winter loan to Aberdeen.
Having said that, neither Montgomery nor Juranovic suits as an outright left fullback option. Taylor needs strong competition to raise his own standards; also, the everlasting fixture congestion demands a bigger squad to deal with form and fitness concerns. Bernabei holds all the attributes to shine in Europe and it remains to be seen whether a deal is struck in the coming days between all parties involved.