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Three players Celtic must replace this summer

It is set to be a busy summer transfer window at Celtic Park.

Ruari Macneil

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Photo: Getty Images

Celtic look on course to secure a second consecutive domestic treble, with only a Scottish Cup final against Motherwell standing in their way.

Should the club get through that fixture, Brendan Rodgers will have picked up every domestic trophy available to him during his Celtic tenure so far, having stormed to the league title last season, defeating Aberdeen in both domestic cup finals along the way.

Nobody will argue against the fact that Celtic have not reached the heights that they achieved last term, with regards to form, consistency, dominance and a number of other factors.

However, the Hoops can still hold their heads high having lost less than a handful of games on the domestic scene throughout Rodgers’ two seasons in charge, a remarkable achievement in itself.

With the summer transfer window rapidly approaching. However, some areas of the squad are in desperate need of addressing.

We have selected three current Bhoys who the club could do with replacing in the coming summer months.

Mikael Lustig

Swedish veteran Mikael Lustig will have his heart set on remaining at the club for 10 titles in a row, but unfortunately for the 31-year-old, his time at Celtic Park may be up.

The right-back has enjoyed a consistent six seasons leading up to the current campaign, during which he has made the position his own at the club.

However, this campaign has seen his form diminish and he has made a number of costly mistakes.

Lustig could perhaps be kept on as a back up option, in a similar fashion to Emilio Izaguirre, deputising for rising star Kieran Tierney in his final season.

Nonetheless, as a long-standing starting right-back, Lustig may not be interested in such a role.

Either way, right-back has been a key component in the abysmal Celtic defending this season, and a move for Lustig would not be the worst thing to happen at the club.

Stuart Armstrong

Stuart Armstrong has experienced mixed fortunes this season, enduring various stints on the sidelines through injury which have hampered his form throughout.

Irrespective of this, he has fallen behind in the midfield pecking order, with Callum McGregor’s stature at the club continuing to rise and Tom Rogic proving his importance continually through magnificent match-winning performances in the big games.

It is not that Armstrong has been playing terribly, but with a number of players in his position fairly stacked, it seems only sensible to allow a midfielder to go. Unfortunately for the Scotland international, the others have simply outperformed him during the current campaign.

On top of this, at 25 years of age, the club will be able to bring in some money from his sale, with interested from the Premier League arising in the past.

Dedryk Boyata

Celtic’s central defenders have come under a lot of criticism this season, and rightly so. On too many occasions the defence has been caught out, and a big change up is required.

Each of the centre-backs have experienced hot and cold periods this season, but it is safe to say the Boyata has been exposed on far too many occasions, especially during the most important games.

Following his efforts in Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers at Ibrox, many Hoops fans will have made their minds up on the Belgian.

Being almost directly at fault for two of the Rangers goals, this is simply unacceptable from an international quality defender playing for a top nation.

The distinct lack of confidence that Hoops fans have when Boyata lines up is enough evidence that it should be time for the 27-year-old to move on.

With a history of playing for Manchester City, Celtic and Belgium in his career, Boyata should have no problem finding a suitable new club.

Like Armstrong, he would recoup some money for the club to re-invest in players for future transfers.

Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.

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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Three ins and outs Celtic could complete this week

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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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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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