Celtic may have got the better of Rangers at the weekend, but the gap between the two Old Firm rivals is clearly closing once again. With that in mind this summer should see Celtic make improvements to the side if they are to maintain their position at the top of Scottish football.
One man that Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers should surely be considering is Hamburg defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
The Greek defender is looking likely to be on his way out of Hamburg in the summer. The German side were thumped 6-0 by Bayern Munich at the weekend and seem condemned to relegation to 2. Bundesliga this season.
Hamburg will need to drastically reduce their wage bill if relegated and Papadopoulos is one of their highest earners. Hamburg Morgenpost recently suggested the Greek defender would be one of those sold. He recently publicly criticised the running of the club, as reported by Eurosport, adding fuel to that fire.
Celtic could certainly do with strengthening the centre-back position. Whilst this season has been a struggle for Papadopoulos, he was once one of Europe’s finest young defenders. Injuries have played their role in his downfall but he remains a top centre-back.
Celtic boss Rodgers is aware of that fact. After all, when manager of Liverpool, the Northern Irishman tried to sign Papadopoulos.
Back in 2013 it was reported that Rodgers wanted Papadopoulos to be the long-term replacement for Jamie Carragher. The Mirror reported that a £13.5 million bid was being readied for the then Schalke defender.
In the end, his injury record looked to much of a concern. Liverpool instead signed Mamadou Sakho from Paris Saint-Germain.
In the summer of 2015, Liverpool were again linked with the fit-again Greek star. The Mirror claimed Rodgers was keen on rekindling his interest in the player after a loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen. Instead, Papadopoulos signed a permanent deal at the BayArena.
Now Rodgers may have the perfect opportunity to get his man. Hamburg will have to sell the defender this summer. Celtic could easily get hold of the player at a cut-price considering the German side’s precarious position.
The intense and often over-zealous defender would be an instant fan favourite with Celtic fans. Papadopoulos wears his heart on his sleeve and would undoubtedly don the green-and-white hoops with pride.
Celtic would be bringing in a perfect match with the Greek’s signature. Rodgers would finally be getting his man. This seems a no-brainer for the summer.