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Celtic will be kicking themselves at not signing bargain Alireza Jahanbakhsh in 2015

The Iranian was a Celtic target three years ago, but is now scoring goals for fun with AZ Alkmaar.

Mathew Coull

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This season the Dutch goalscoring charts look set to be topped by AZ Alkmaar winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh. The 24-year-old winger has been in fine form for the club this season, scoring 18 goals in 31 games in the Dutch top-flight.

His form might not go down to well with Celtic fans, however. Back in 2015, the Bhoys were hot on the pursuit of the Iranian attacker.

He had impressed at Dutch side NEC Nijmegen in 2014-15 and, as reported by the Scotsman, found his way onto Celtic’s wishlist that summer. The report suggested a fee of just £1.5 million would have seen the Jahanbakhsh head to Parkhead. However, that summer instead saw AZ Alkmaar get hold of the player for a similar price.

At the time, not many Celtic fans would have been too disappointed in missing out on the player. Fast forward three years however and the talented winger is set to be on many European wish lists this summer.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

His form has seen him linked with the likes of Burnley and Bournemouth a year ago, with a fee of £9 million mentioned by the Daily Mail.

It is a year since those reports. Jahanbakhsh has since proven himself to be an even more potent threat and, if he can put in a good performance at the World Cup this summer, his price-tag will likely rise even more.

Celtic must, therefore, be kicking themselves that they did not manage to beat AZ to his signature in the summer of 2015.

When you consider that AZ also have another former Celtic target up front in Wout Weghorst, who has 16 goals this season, and Celtic are best to avoid looking at the Dutch league’s third-placed team altogether.

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Celtic

Chancel Mbemba’s move to Celtic could be another success story for the Scottish top flight

Josh Kerr

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Photo: Getty Images

Tyneside hero Rafael Benitez has successfully maintained Newcastle United‘s Premier League status and the 58-year-old manager is already planning on a summer clear-out.

One of the players who has been linked with an exit from the club is talented defender Chancel Mbemba, who, according to the Chronicle, is being linked with a move to Celtic.

The 23-year-old has fallen out of favour with Benitez, despite starting positively under Steve Mclaren, since his move from Anderlecht in 2015.

The centre-back has made just 19 league starts for the Magpies this season and has not featured for the club since January when Newcastle were beaten by Chelsea in the FA Cup.

The move would be perfect for Celtic, and would also be great for the Scottish Premier League, with the addition of a talented defender, who still has more to show from his time in North-East England.

Celtic are on course for another treble under Brendan Rodgers with the Hoops lining up against Motherwell on Saturday in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park.

(Photo by DAniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images)

Despite the focus being purely on getting his sixth trophy as Celtic manager, the former Liverpool boss can be forgiven for already thinking about next season considering his former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has just taken over the reigns at Ibrox.

Mbemba was one of the stand-out players in his first season at Newcastle and Rodgers has become a manager famous for specialising in getting the best of young talents.

The likes of Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele are all talents who are thriving under the Northern Irish manager and Mbemba could be another success story when it comes to the Scottish top flight attracting the most promising of youngsters.

The Congo international is still relatively experienced and has still has the early years of his career to hone his talents. Under the right manager, he could be one of the standout players in a dominant Celtic team.

Mbemba’s omission from the first team has been one of the few disagreements fans have shared with their Spanish messiah and a his exit could ultimately come back to haunt Benitez.

Considering Rodgers impact when it comes to developing talent, his impact on Mbemba could see Newcastle fans ruing the Belgian defender’s departure.

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Celtic

Celtic not being made to regret Saidy Janko sale

The former Celtic defender has failed to make a lasting impact at new club Saint-Etienne.

Mathew Coull

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Last summer Celtic decided the time had come to move Saidy Janko on from his time at Parkhead. The promising Swiss right-back had joined the club from Manchester United in 2015 with a reputation as one of his country’s top young talents.

However, things did not work out for Janko at Celtic. The Swiss full-back began his first season at Celtic in and around the first-team. However, he suffered a serious knee injury in October that left him out of action for most of the season.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The following campaign and under new management in Brendan Rodgers it became clear he was not in the first-team picture. He was subsequently loaned out to Barnsley, where he had a mixed spell. Therefore, this summer saw Celtic decide to move him on. Janko was sold to French Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne for an undisclosed fee.

So did Celtic make a mistake selling the talented young Swiss defender?

At the start of the season, it certainly seemed so. Janko was a regular for Saint-Etienne until December. But results had dried up for the side and Janko found himself being dropped as a consequence. In the second half of the season, he played just three games out of 18 after the turn of the year.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

This week, a report in But! Football Club labelled Janko a flop as Les Verts fans have not been impressed with his performances for the club.

Celtic, at times, have needed cover in the right-back positions this season. But judging by his season at the French side, which gradually went downhill, Celtic were still right to move him on.

At just 22-years-old, the Swiss defender still has time to become a star with the Ligue 1 side. But Celtic fans won’t be losing any sleep over his departure just yet.

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Jordan Ayew should follow footsteps of Scott Sinclair and join Celtic

Josh Kerr

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Ayew
Photo: Getty Images

Jordan Ayew should be considering his options ahead of next season following Swansea‘s imminent relegation to the Championship.

Scottish champions Celtic would be the perfect club to revitalise a disappointing season in South Wales.

Despite the Swans underwhelming season, forward Jordan Ayew has enjoyed a more successful individual campaign, managing a respectable 11 goals and two assists.

The former Aston Villa winger joined the Liberty Stadium in January last season in a swap deal that saw Wales international Neil Taylor move in the opposite direction.

According to BBC Sport, the Swans paid £5 million for the Ghana international. Following the club’s first relegation since they were promoted to the Premier League in 2011, a summer move may seem inevitable.

When considering his next destination, Ayew should look no further than the success of former Swansea fan favourite, Scott Sinclair.

Sinclair was a revelation in South Wales, before signing for Manchester City.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, he failed to make an impact at the Etihad, and his move to Celtic proved to be a career-defining decision for the 29-year-old.

Now, the former Swan is on course to win a second treble at Celtic Park, and his individual performances in Brendan Rodgers’ side have not gone unnoticed.

Sinclair has gone on to win the PFA Scotland Player’s Player of the season as well as the SFWA Footballer of the Year back in 2017.

A move for Ayew could see a similar change of fortune with the Marseille-born attacker one of Swansea’s brighter performers this season.

The Ghanaian has boundless energy and provided a spark for his side throughout the season that has ultimately not been enough to keep the Swans up.

He showed signs of brilliance in Ligue 1 but never hit the heights at Aston Villa.

His move to Swansea revived his career, but now the forward needs a move that will allow him to settle and enjoy his peak years.

Ayew is in an exciting place in terms of development. He is 26 and would cost some serious cash, but fits the profile of a versatile forward that Brendan Rodgers craves.

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