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Celtic Are Considering A Summer Swoop For This Schalke Defender: Why They Are In The Driver’s Seat

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a report from Calciomercato is believed to be true, Celtic are considering a summer swoop for Schalke centre-back Malick Thiaw. Although the Hoops are not alone in the race with AC Milan keeping close tabs on the German youth international, Christopher Jullien’s loan move to The Royal Blues puts the Hoops in the driver’s seat ahead of the other suitors.

Celtic have tied down Cameron Carter-Vickers on permanent terms after a stellar loan stint from Tottenham Hotspur. Carl Starfelt has done well after a shaky start, but they need further reinforcements in the heart of the backline to challenge and cover for the first-team pair. Stephen Welsh has been sporadic under Ange Postecoglou, but the gaffer would need at least another new centre-half following the exit of both Jullien and Liam Scales on season-long loans.

Why Celtic Hold An Advantage In Any Potential Deal For Thiaw

The Celts have triggered a one-year extension to Jullien’s contract which should boost them financially if the option-to-buy clause is activated by Schalke. They are back in Bundesliga with immediate promotion, and therefore, have set a valuation of around £8m for the highly-rated defender. The champions of Scotland must splash the cash to strike a deal, but it remains to be seen whether the Frenchman’s move helps them minimize the asking fee.

Schalke defender Malick Thiaw has emerged as a Celtic target
BREMEN, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 20: Malick Thiaw of Schalke in action during the Second Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and FC Schalke 04 at Wohninvest Weserstadion on November 20, 2021 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency:
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Thiaw spent his academy years at various clubs before joining Schalke. He began his training at V Kalkum-Wittlaer and then had his spells with Fortuna Düsseldorf, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach respectively. The North Rhine-Westphalia giants roped him in 2015 and eventually handed him his professional debut in March 2020.

The 20-year-old German U21 international started featuring more frequently during the 2020-21 campaign which, however, ended in disappointment with a bottom-placed finish. Schalke were demoted to the second-tier for the first time in 30 years but scripted a swift return by clinching the 2. Bundesliga crown. Thiaw made 31 league appearances and thus played a key role in regaining the top-flight status.

Celtic were in catastrophe last summer when they appointed Postecoglou as the new Parkhead chief. The little-known Aussie boss defied the odds and turned things around with an array of shrewd signings. He not only clinched the League Cup crown but also snatched the Premiership glory from bitter rivals Rangers.

Having said that, the Bhoys were dreadful in Europe and the manager must ensure a better show this time after cementing a Champions League group stage berth by winning the league. Thiaw has grown his game in recent months and the ceiling is quite high for the Deutschland youngster. A massive coup indeed for the Hoops if a deal takes place in due time.

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