Celtic have been spot on so far in terms of striking transfer deals. However, they are also working on clearing the deadwood to save wage bills. According to The Reading Chronicle (cited by the Football Scotland), forgotten Hoops left-back Boli Bolingoli has emerged as a summer target for Reading FC.
The 27-year-old Belgian joined the Celts back in the summer of 2019. He was roped in from Rapid Wien following Kieran Tierney’s move to Arsenal, and the expectation was to emulate the Scotsman’s success down the left-hand flank.
But he failed miserably at Parkhead, which saw Greg Taylor securing the starting role after completing his move from Kilmarnock in the same window.
Born in Antwerp, Bolingoli progressed through the youth ranks of Club Brugge before breaking into their senior side back in July 2013. There he could not cement a regular status and was eventually loaned out to Sint-Truiden ahead of the transfer to Rapid Wien.
Although he went on to feature 28 times in his first season at Celtic, the performance was not good enough to convince then-boss Neil Lennon. He eventually lost his place to Taylor during the second half of the 2019-20 campaign, and the misery is still continuing in the aftermath of two unsuccessful loan spells with İstanbul Başakşehir and FC UFA.
Why Bolingoli Has No Place In The Celtic Squad
An injury restricted him to 18 appearances for the Turkish outfit, whereas a winter loan to Russia earlier this year was cut short due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Bolingoli did not return to Lennoxtown and continued to train alone back in his homeland. He played once under Ange Postecoglou but failed to impress the gaffer enough to revive his career.
Celtic, meanwhile, have tied down Alexandro Bernabei from Lanus to challenge and cover Taylor for years to come. The Argentine has sent Bolingoli further down the pecking order, and the latter’s absence from the pre-season training suggests that he has no future for the Glasgow giants. Having said that, he still has a year left in his contract, and the management must find a way to part ways with the left fullback.
Reading, on the other hand, escaped a relegation scare last season by finishing 21st in the Championship standings. They have severe budget constraints ahead of the upcoming term, and the signings they have made so far are either on loan or free agents after trials. It remains to be seen whether the Hoops terminate Bolingoli’s contract or let him join the Royals for nothing. Any transfer fee would be a massive coup given the situation surrounding the defender.