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Manchester City’s move for Lovro Majer could prove good news for Celtic

Celtic have been monitoring the talented Croatian for some time now.

Mathew Nash

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Manchester City are seemingly in the hunt for a talented Croatian midfielder, according to reports over the weekend. It is being suggested by The Sun that Lovro Majer is a City target for this summer. The report suggests that the NK Lokomotiva midfield talent is being eyed as an eventual replacement for the recently departed City legend Yaya Toure. A fee of £8 million is being mooted and if City are keen, it is hard not to see them making a deal happen.

But could this be good news for Celtic?

Celtic are also believed to be keen on Majer. Last summer Secolo XIX reported that Celtic were one of many teams interested in the player and that talk continued for much of the summer.

In the end, Celtic failed to secure any deal for Majer and he is now an expensive recruit after an exceptional season with his club side.

Celtic were again linked in March as they began preparing for the summer transfer window. But Manchester City making a move for the player might present the best chance of seeing Majer in a Celtic shirt next season.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Whilst City rate Majer highly, it would appear unlikely he would walk straight into the first-team picture at the Etihad Stadium.

A loan deal would likely be the best solution for the 20-year-old. Celtic will then be knocking on the door.

The Bhoys have a good rapport with the Premier League champions and have done business with them on numerous occasions in the past. Patrick Roberts, Jason Denayer, Dedryck Boyata and Olivier Ntcham all headed to Parkhead from City – either on loan or permanently.

Using that link to their advantage Majer would surely remain a Celtic target, even after he completes an expected transfer to Manchester City.

Whilst it would be disappointing not to have Majer permanently, Celtic would still get to experience the midfielder for a temporary spell. He could then show why he has been so highly rated for his performances in his homeland.

Celtic

One to watch: Celtic’s 19-year-old winger Daniel Arzani

Introducing The Boot Room’s 2018/19 One to Watch series…

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Daniel Arzani
Photo: Getty Images

Not many people saw Daniel Arzani menacing down the flanks of many an A-League pitch in the last 12 months.

Millions of people did, however, see the raw talent that the Australian possesses after three impressive cameos off the bench at this year’s World Cup – a tournament at which he was the youngest player.

And now he will head to Celtic on loan, playing in a league that will provide a sterner physical test while still allowing him to develop in the comfortable surroundings of a strong, attacking team.

Play Style

An attribute that will be of vital importance in the fledgling stages of the 19-year-old’s career at Celtic is his ability to play on both wings.

At Melbourne City, he constantly changed flanks from game to game – and even during games.

On the right flank, he likes to use his speed to stretch the pitch and make runs to the by-line.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

On the left, he enjoys using his incisive dribbling to move inside and head towards the penalty box.

He will be hoping to improve on his production though.

While impressive in the league, his record of two goals and one assist in 1,195 minutes is not particularly stellar.

In saying that, he has shown more than a few glimpses of the underlying raw talent needed to succeed at a higher level.

Season Ahead

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold glowingly endorsed the move, telling reporters this week, “It’s a big move for the kid. He’s a very intelligent kid. He knows what his plan is”.

With the international retirement of Tim Cahill, many in Arzani’s native Australia are looking towards the 19-year-old to be the face of the next generation.

Weirdly, he will try to grow into that role out of the national spotlight in the confines of Glasgow, Celtic Park and the Champions League.

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Celtic

One to Watch: Celtic’s Kieran Tierney unstoppable down the flank in AEK draw

One to Watch pick Kieran Tierney impressed despite stalemate against AEK.

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Kieran Tierney
Photo: Getty Images

Celtic’s quest for Champions League football hit a hurdle as they draw 1-1 with AEK Athens at Celtic Park in the first leg of their qualifying tie.

Kieran Tierney, however, can feel absolved of much of the blame.

After being rested on the weekend in anticipation of this game, he looked fresh.

The Scottish full-back was unstoppable on the left-flank, as he constantly put pressure on an AEK defensively line trying to be compact as possible.

He did not allow them to be. He constantly bombarded down the wing, looking to stretch the defence, and he was consistently afforded the room to get into dangerous positions.

In the first half, he almost won a penalty with a direct run towards goal that the referee judged to be just outside the box

(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

The Celtic defender was also instrumental in the build-up to the Hoops’ goal.

His foray into the box led to a deflected pass to Callum McGregor, who made no mistake smashing home to put Celtic ahead.

He also put in multiple dangerous crosses that slid through the penalty area without a Celtic player managing to get on the end of one.

In the second-half, Tierney moved to press forward even higher up the pitch after AEK were reduced to ten men early in the half.

With Celtic struggling to break the deadlock, they switched to a back three, moving the 21-year-old into a more defensive role.

But he continued to make forays forward as the Hoops camped themselves in the Greek side’s half for the final 20 minutes.

While Celtic were denied a first-leg advantage, Tierney will take great confidence into the second-leg after an all-round excellent performance.

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One to watch: Celtic’s 21-year-old full-back Kieran Tierney

Introducing The Boot Room’s 2018/19 One to Watch series…

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Kieran Tierney
Photo: Getty Images

Kieran Tierney epitomises the roots of Celtic.

At the club since he was eight, the unassuming 21-year-old has established himself as Celtic’s first-choice left-back through a mix of both stylish and rugged football.

There is something about the Scottish international that harks back to bygone generations.

While the low socks and black boots of his debut season have since been replaced with more modern attire, Tierney still retains some of the hallmarks of an old-school left-back.

Play Style

Firstly, he has an unbelievable energy tank. It is undeniably key to his effectiveness both offensively and defensively.

Offensively, he can simply use it to out-work his marker in transition to create overloads out wide.

(Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Defensively, it can make up for positional short-comings and the speed of his acceleration can allow him to make second and third efforts to track players he is marking.

Even more old school is his willingness to slide tackle and the excellent timing of such manoeuvres.

His routine style can become predictable, but it is nonetheless effective.

Season Ahead

Tierney is unsurprisingly a target for Premier League clubs, but Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to ensure his left-back remains concentrated on the season ahead.

“He is a good boy and I had a long chat with him just about keeping his focus really,” Rodgers told reporters this summer.

It would be difficult for anyone to question the commitment of Tierney to Celtic.

Expect him to again be a key figure as Celtic continue their quest for Champions League qualification and a third consecutive domestic treble.

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