Asmir Begovic an 'outstanding' Celtic transfer option as Matt O'Riley the second coming of Rogic - Parkhead news bulletin

Asmir Begovic of Queens Park Rangers
Asmir Begovic of Queens Park Rangers -Credit:Kieran McManus/REX/Shutterstock

Asmir Begovic has been hailed as 'outstanding' for QPR this season as Celtic hunt for a new No1.

Joe Hart will hang up his gloves in the summer after a stunning career that has seen him lift a host of major honours and play at the highest level both at club and international level for England. He will be hoping to sign off from Brendan Rodgers' side with a domestic double this campaign with the Hoops battling it out with Rangers for the Scottish Premiership title and Scottish Cup.

A number of goalkeepers have been linked with a move north this summer when Hart officially departs with former Chelsea and Bournemouth goalie Begovic one of those named. Pundit Carlton Palmer isn't surprised the Hoops are looking at the QPR veteran after a brilliant campaign at Loftus Road. He reckons the English Championship club will be desperate to keep him on board with his contract up in the summer.

He told Football League World: "Celtic’s Joe Hart is retiring after a fabulous career in the game. He’s been outstanding at every club he has been at, and has been a very consistent performer, so Celtic are looking for a replacement. Apparently they’re interested in QPR goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. He’s been outstanding for QPR this season, and he’s out of contract this summer, and he’s 36, nearly 37.

“Before survival they didn’t want to talk about who they wanted to keep, but now they’ve survived, I’m sure that they’ll be opening contract talks with Begovic, who has played 46 games this season. As a goalkeeper, his age makes no difference, and I’m sure they’ll want to keep him in the building if they could.

"You can’t offer contracts until you know which league you’re going to be playing in. Now they know they’re going to be playing in the Championship, I’m sure Begovic is one of those that they’ll be wanting to tie down as soon as possible - he has been outstanding for them this season."

Meanwhile former Celtic kid Aidan Borland has been handed his first pro contract with Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa. Unai Emery's men have had a stunning season to date and could end the campaign in the top four and with a European trophy in the cabinet after reaching the Europa Conference League semi-final. The EPL outfit plucked young midfielder Borland from Parkhead last summer for a development fee of £300,000 although that could reportedly rise to around four times that figure with performance add-ons.

He turned 17 last week and was handed his first full-time terms at the club with academy boss Mark Harrison stating:: “We’ve been really pleased with his progress which has seen him become a regular in our Under 21s team at the age of 16. He is an intelligent, hard-working, technically efficient midfielder with the ability to score from long range. We look forward to working with him over the next few years and seeing how he progresses.” Going back to the current crop and Matt O'Riley has earned comparisons with former fans' favourite Tom Rogic.

The PFA Scotland Player of the Year nominee has had a stunning campaign under Rodgers with goals now a key feature in his overall game. His form has brought big interest to the doors in Glasgow's east end from the likes of Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan and Motherwell and Scotland defender Stephen O'Donnell has explained what makes him so difficult to face as an opponent.

He explained to the Go Radio Football Show: “The way he receives the ball when you’re playing against him, I think it’s one of the hardest skills. The way he does it, he makes it look effortless. The talent he’s got, the ability, he reminds me of Tom Rogic in a sense.”