The 6 big Celtic transfer questions that need answered from keeper conundrum to 5 possible exits – Scott Burns Parkhead verdict

-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)
-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)

All Celtic’s transfer business has been one way so far.

They have been outs rather than ins, much to the frustration of the Hoops faithful who are all desperately waiting for summer arrivals. Will it be Adam Idah, Paulo Bernardo or a brand new goalkeeper to fill the massive gloves of the recently retired Joe Hart?

Brendan Rodgers has admitted he could have had nine players in by now but it has been more about remaining patient and getting the right ones. Celtic are confident of sealing the permanent transfer of Idah from Norwich City and remain in talks with Benfica over the signing of Bernardo. Sparta Prague keeper Peter Vindahl Jensen remains amongst the goalkeeping options while Celtic have also made an approach for Burnley defender Dara O’Shea. So far, though, all the transfer activity has been through the exit door of the Scottish champions.

Celtic have been very much cash-rich in recent seasons. There always remains an element of caution and balancing the books. Whether that be a big-money sale or by moving on or selling squad or so-called project players.

That process has already kicked off in this window. Winger Sead Haksabanovic has reluctantly departed for Malmo, out-of-contract Rocco Vata has quit for Watford and the rarely-seen Marco Tilio will have another loan that will keep him at Melbourne City until next summer.

South Korean striker Hyeon-gyu Oh remains a target for Belgium side Genk and is also expected to depart in a deal that will be worth more than £4 million. Yet, if you look at the Celtic squad there is still a lot more that can be moved on and have been made available.

Celtic might not have a first-choice goalkeeper but Benjamin Siegrist has made it clear that he doesn’t want to stick around either. The Swiss keeper was expected to really push for a place when he moved from Dundee United but his career in Glasgow has never really taken off. If Siegrist is to get his wish then it would leave Celtic in the market for a second goalkeeper, as they would only have Scott Bain on their books with any experience.

The central defensive area is one where Celtic have options. Cameron-Carter Vickers is the unquestioned first-choice and last season Liam Scales was his preferred partner. Behind that Stephen Welsh and Maik Nawrocki were the back-up options. The fact that Celtic are interested in Burnley’s O’Shea means that Rodgers wants to bring in more quality in that area of the park.

Youngster Bosun Lawal spent last season on loan at Fleetwood Town but has been given a chance in pre-season. Will the door open for him? Could Nawrocki go?

Former club Legia Warsaw were keen on him last month but they haven’t been able to get things over the line, so far. Gustaf Lagerbielke came in from Elsborg in January but looks to be well out of Rodgers’ plans. The Swedish international defender was set for a January move to Leece but the plug was pulled when Celtic had a central defensive crisis.

If the right offer was to come in and Celtic could get their money back they would take it. There has been talk of another loan deal to Leece but that has failed to come to fruition so far. Fellow centre half Yuki Kobayashi is another who appears even further out of the picture.

Maik Nawrocki in action for Celtic
Maik Nawrocki in action for Celtic -Credit:SNS Group

He has struggled for game time under Rodgers and has turned down a number of loan offers, including from Finnish side HJK. There remains Scottish and European interest in the 23-year-old and he could well be one of the next players to head out.

There is also an excess in the middle of the park that won’t dislodge Callum McGregor, Matt O’Riley and Bernardo if he returns.
Norwegian Odin Thiago Holm hasn’t been given a lot of action. The 21-year-old is seen as one for the future and it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to see him go out on-loan. South Korean midfielder Kwon Hyeok-kyu was out on loan at St Mirren last season.
He is another who has struggled to make their mark in the east of Glasgow and will look to get back playing.

Veteran James McCarthy didn’t feature in the first-team last season but still has a year to go. Will he eventually look to go and get games? Liam Shaw at 23 needs to be playing. The Englishman has had loans at Motherwell, Morecambe and Wigan Athletic and it looks like his long-term future could be away from Celtic.

There is also youngster Daniel Kelly. Celtic want to keep him but he hasn’t agreed a new deal and is out of contract at the end of the year. Winger Mikey Johnston is now back in pre-season with Celtic. He spent the second half of last season on an impressive spell with West Bromwich Albion. Will that be enough to finally see him fulfil his potential at Celtic or will he be ready for a permanent exit?

Luis Palma and Nicolas Kuhn have both come in for decent fees but could Johnston jump above them in the pecking order? If, as expected, Oh moves to Genk, then Celtic will have limited options but if the incoming business kicks off with Idah then that would go some way to resolving that and kick-starting Rodgers' last summer upgrade.