Celtic should use Europa League match as scouting mission for Stefan Lainer
Celtic face Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League tonight, knowing that knockout qualification is in their own hands.
With one group stage match remaining, Celtic sit in second place and one point will earn them qualification to the next round.
The Bhoys have a home clash against table-toppers RB Salzburg, who are already through as group winners.
RB Salzburg’s record of five wins in five group stage games is ominous but Celtic will fancy their chances of securing a point at home.
But as well as concentrating on this important match, it is also a chance for Brendan Rodgers to embark on a scouting mission.
RB Salzburg’s right-back Stefan Lainer would be an ideal transfer target for Celtic, with Mikael Lustig’s future in doubt.
Lustig has been at Celtic for six-and-a-half years but his contract is up in the summer.
Rodgers will be hoping to bring in an upgrade on the long-serving Sweden international and Lainer is the perfect man for the job.
The 26-year-old has spent his entire career in Austria but he has been impressing in his home country.
In five Europa League games this season, Lainer has demonstrated his attacking and defensive capabilities by making 312 passes, 11 key passes, five tackles, four interceptions, five blocks and 13 clearances, according to Who Scored.
The Austria international could be the perfect Lustig replacement and Rodgers should keep an eye on him tonight.