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Brendan Rodgers should finally get Kyriakos Papadopoulos this summer

The Greek defender is set to be sold by Hamburg this summer.

Mathew Nash

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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’s Greek defender Kiriakos Papadopoulos celebrates after the German first division Bundesliga football match 1 FC Cologne v Hamburg SV in Cologne, western Germany, on August 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 29: Kyriakos Papadopoulos of Bayer 04 Leverkusen celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Barcelona and Bayern 04 Leverkusen at Camp Nou on September 29, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

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.

 

Celtic

Celtic must not be undercut on £25m Kieran Tierney asking price

Everton were willing to pay £18 million for the Celtic defender, with the club wanting £25 million.

Mathew Nash

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Earlier this summer Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney looked like being on his way to Everton. The Scottish international was being earmarked as a potential replacement for the aging Leighton Baines.

However, when it came down to matching Celtic’s asking price, Everton would not meet the amount the Bhoys were after. As reported by The Scottish Sun, Celtic wanted £25 million for Tierney. Everton were only willing to go as high as £18 million and pulled out of a deal, signing Lucas Digne from Barcelona instead.

Now, Celtic look set to have a fight on their hands to keep Tierney again in January. As reported by The Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur now want Tierney.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JULY 18: Brendan Rodgers and Kieran Tierney of Celtic are seen during the UEFA Champions League Qualifier between Celtic and Alashkert FC at Celtic Park on July 18, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The report even claims Spurs are hoping to sign him at a cut-price deal of just £10 million, taking advantage of Celtic’s inability to qualify for the Champions League and the financial hit that caused.

Celtic must not budge on their high asking price for Tierney. He is an extremely talented left-back and the Bhoys would be selling themselves short, especially at just £10 million.

Perhaps there is wiggle room on a £25 million fee, but Celtic should not be taking a £15 million cut to move on their best talent.

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Celtic

Three ins and outs Celtic could complete this week

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Photo: Getty Images.

Crisis in Europe means that the pressure is on Celtic entering into the final full week of the transfer window for Scottish teams, with Brendan Rodgers looking for ways to strengthen his squad whilst also considering who may have to depart to balance the budget.

This could lead to some unexpected signings and departures, with these three some of those which may take place…

Kieran Tierney (Tottenham)

It seems unlikely a deal would go through this week, but the two clubs could come to an agreement ahead of a January move, particularly as the Mirror claim that the reason for the potential deal for just £10 million would be due to the club’s need to adjust budgets following Champions League failure.

Celtic will not want to sell the 21-year-old, particularly at such a low price, unless they really have to and it seems that the club’s situation is not quite that severe yet.

Douglas Luiz (Manchester City)

Brendan Rodgers was spotted at the Etihad to watch Manchester City face Huddersfield Town on Sunday and City Watch have speculated that his presence may have been to hold talks over a move for Douglas Luiz.

The Brazilian had a work permit application rejected to it is likely that he will leave the Citizens for elsewhere, but he could fulfill the requirements for SPL. Having spent last season on loan at Girona and with the good relationship between the two clubs, it could happen quickly.

Dedryck Boyata (Lyon)

The Scottish Sun stated that he was a target for Lyon, among several European clubs, earlier this summer but no deal has yet come to pass. A row over him declaring himself injured for a crucial fixture could prove to be the end of his Celtic career, whether his destination is Lyon or not.

“I had a long chat with Dedryck the other day. We have created a wee bit of distance from what happened last week. We will look at that over the weekend but Dedryck is still a Celtic player and I want to have him involved.”

Brendan Rodgers appears to be keen to put the fall out behind him.

Rodgers seems keen to retain his services though, so it could take an impressive offer in order to persuade him to part ways with the Belgian defender.

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Celtic

Kieran Tierney interest shows Tottenham correcting transfer planning mistakes

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Photo: Getty Images.

Tottenham could reap the benefits of their transfer dithering this summer as the Mirror say that they could save themselves £10 million. They report that Celtic may be forced to sell key man Kieran Tierney for just £10 million, with Tottenham interested, despite having put a £20 million price tag on his head earlier this summer.

Spurs were put off by that price tag but could now move for the Scottish international, saving themselves a tidy fee in the process. If the move does come off, it would be the first sign that Daniel Levy and co. are learning from their mistakes of the summer.

With doubts still surrounding the future of Danny Rose, Tierney could be the man to challenge Ben Davies at left-back after a questionable start to the season.

“Can he be the best in the world? Of course! He has lots of talent and just needs to focus and he can do it. He has the talent. Football is about talent but it’s more important to be professional.”

Team-mate Emilio Izaguirre rates him highly.

The 21-year-old, who has five years remaining on his contract at Celtic Park, would be a bargain at such a price too. A youngster with potential resale value too, he would fit in perfectly with the club’s transfer policy.

Whilst he lacks Premier League experience and has very limited experience of playing at a top level, Tierney has undoubted potential and has caught the eye of several teams, including Everton.

If Tottenham do act to sign Tierney, it would represent a correction of their mistakes in the summer. It may be a case of the right opportunity presenting itself, but signing young British talents at bargain prices is what Daniel Levy dreams of and Tierney would fit perfectly into that mould and may well be a Tottenham player sooner rather than later if these reports are to be believed.

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