Alex McCarthy to Celtic transfer silence broken as Southampton decision time arrives for goalkeeper

Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy
Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy -Credit:Southampton FC via Getty Images

Southampton boss Russell Martin admits that the Championship club have paused talks with Alex McCarthy amid speculation over a move to Celtic.

The goalkeeper is out of contract at the end of the season and has been touted with a move to the Scottish Premiership champions south of the border - with Liverpool also reportedly keeping tabs on the Saints' No. 1 as they look to provide more competition for Alisson. However, Martin has hinted that the decision of the 34-year-old could depend on if they can return to the English Premier League through the playoffs.

Southampton go into the second leg against West Brom with the game goalless on aggregate - with Leeds United awaiting in the final should Martin's side see off the Baggies at St Mary's on Friday night. And with Brendan Rodgers on the look-out for a new goalkeeper with Joe Hart set to hang up his gloves, boss Martin opened up on the talks with the one-time England cap.

He told the Southern Daily Echo: "It's just (been about) letting Alex focus on his football. It's been about letting him perform. He's been fantastic, he's been so good since he came into the team.

"He brings a real calm and influence, (he's) been great with his feet and with his hands. He was massive on Sunday, we're going to need that again for sure. For now the focus for everyone. That has to be the aim and then, whenever the season finishes, hopefully not for another 10 days or so, we will all sit down.

"There's been conversations throughout the year. Everyone is really clear. There has not been a silence about the situation. There isn't going to be a surprise or anything. I think a lot will depend on what happens, and the players know that.

"It's to everyone's benefit to win this game tomorrow night and do everything they possibly can to do that. We will cross the bridge about contracts when the season ends."