Celtic do not have the option to sign goalkeeper Fraser Forster permanently next summer, according to local reports near parent club Southampton.
This summer saw Neil Lennon bring his former Celtic goalkeeper back to Parkhead on a season-long loan deal.
Forster was a regular during Lennon’s previous stint in Glasgow before joining Southampton in a deal reportedly (BBC) worth around £10 million back in 2014.
The England international has recently been iced out at St Mary’s so Lennon pounced on the opportunity to bring Forster back to Scotland.
As reported at the time by the Daily Star the loan deal was believed to include a permanent option should Forster rekindle his form at Celtic.
However, that does not appear to be the case. As reported by the Daily Echo, Celtic have no option to buy the giant stopper at the end of his loan spell. He is instead expected back at Southampton at the end of the season with a full season of football behind him. The same applies to Norwegian attacker Mo Elyounoussi, a fact that had already been reported by the Daily Record.
Not including a permanent option in Forster’s deal seems strange on both teams’ part. Clearly Forster is a top goalkeeper at this level, so Celtic would be happy to keep him.
“I’d never, ever rule that out. Obviously I just want to concentrate week-by-week to begin with. But if we have a great year, it would come down to the two clubs working it out somehow.”
Meanwhile, it seems that Forster has little to no chance of making it back into the first-team plans at St Mary’s where he is currently behind Angus Gunn and Alex McCarthy in the pecking order.
Forster himself told The Scottish Sun in August that he was open to making the loan move permanent at the end of the season.
But it appears extra negotiations would have to be done for a player whose current contract at Southampton does not expire until 2022.