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Here’s Why None Of Celtic’s Alleged Goalkeeping Targets Tick All The Boxes Yet.

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There are a lot of names out there, aren’t there?

A lot of names being tossed about.

The media is largely playing guesswork on the positions we’re going to strengthen – although McGowan is pretty adamant that he’s got the goods, and it computes with what we’ve watched as fans – but there are two positions where we know we need something. Left back, where we’ve got Greg Taylor on his lonesome, and in goal where the departure of Joe Hart has left more than just a big hole that none of his backups can hope to fill.

That is the biggest challenge facing us in the here and now. Other positions can be filled over the course, but the need to have a new keeper in place before pre-season training starts is acute and this is not something that is going to wait. So naturally, the rumour mill is particularly focussed on this area of the Celtic side. It makes sense that this is so.

This blog has already written about one of those names; David De Gea. He’s still out there, still free, still available. Perhaps he’s looking for the right “project” to join, but a friend of mine drew my attention the other day to Inter Milan having made him several offers which he turned down on account of the money involved.

He wants more. A lot more. A Hell of a lot more than Celtic would be able to pay. Not just be willing to pay. Able to pay. According to reports, he will take the pay cut which would be required before we could make any realistic attempt for one club only; Atletico Madrid.

Put a black pin in that one then, that’s a non-starter.

Of the rest, it is an assortment of the fanciful, like Caoimhín Kelleher at £20 million, tired stories about us going back in for Fraser Forster and the more credible sounding takes, like the one about Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka, although at 35 the price would have to be very, very right before most people would consider that a deal worth the pursuit.

Every one of those deals has issues.

Kelleher is not going to happen because of the costs associated with it, and it was always unrealistic unless he was quite literally being jettisoned. Forster is nothing but lazy journalism, reflecting lazy and unimaginative thinking. He did have a chance to return to Celtic, three years back. He preferred to chase the dream in England. That was his choice and nobody grudged him it. But he’s older than Dubravka by a year and he’s played less than 30 matches in the last two seasons.

Dubravka himself might cost more, at his age, than we should ever be willing to pay. There are more realistic options out there.

Peter Vindahl Jensen is another name we’re linked with, and this one is more interesting and far more appealing. At 26 he’s in his prime. We could get four or five years out of him as our number one choice, and he’s at the right age where you could realistically sell him for a profit a few of those years down the line. If he does the job and decides to stay you could see this guy being the number one at the club for the next ten years.

He’s Danish. He’s 6’5. He’s played in his native country, Holland, Germany and now the Czech Republic. He wants to play for their national team, having been capped for them at every level. On the surface of it, this is a perfect pedigree.

There’s just one problem with it; he’s just signed for Sparta Prague, where he was on loan last season with an option to buy. Their club activated that option, and he’s now their player. He cost them just under £3 million. Reports suggest he’s the number one target for us, and that it will take an offer “in excess of £4 million” before we would get him.

It seems to me highly unlikely that we can get that deal done, because it seems highly unlikely they’d settle for a profit that small when they’ve basically got their own number one choice now, and so this is another one where I think we can stick in the proverbial black pin and cease worrying about it. Which is a shame, because of all the options so far, his is the best one because he has plenty of experience and still has plenty of time to grow and improve.

Signing keepers is strangely difficult.

There is no such thing as an exact science here.

We brought in Barkas some years back and he too had a nearly perfect pedigree, and that move turned out to be a total disaster. Why did it go so badly wrong?

I accept that he signed in uniquely difficult circumstances and that he didn’t have much contact with his team-mates, but he should have been far better for us than he was. Sometimes the weird alchemy that enables someone to succeed is just not present for certain players at certain clubs, and that seems to have been the case with the big Greek. His signing might have made us more cautious in this area than we probably should be.

Nevertheless, we’ve done well with this position over the years, bringing in guys like Hart, like Forster and Boruc. We need a little bit of that magic this time around. Someone experienced, but young enough to justify the fee. Someone who can command the penalty area, organise the defence and in whom you can have complete confidence.

Not easy to find. And that’s why so many names have been tossed around already, and it’s why we’re all going to be a teeny bit anxious until Joe Hart’s big gloves have finally been filled. There is probably no more important a task in front of us than this; it is the one decision that we have to get absolutely right, and that’s why it may take us a little more time … but not too much of it.

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  • DannyGal says:

    Is there a reason Angus Gunnn isn’t being mentioned? Would tick all Brendan’s boxes.

    • James Forrest says:

      Good shout Danny, I would have thought so too.

    • Johnny Green says:

      Enjoying yourself in Germany Danny, I didn’t think you would be making the time to comment on here, but a good comment just the same.

      Prost.

  • Brattbakk says:

    Sessegnon is the answer for LB. No idea who we should get as keeper, as you say none of the names mentioned tick all the boxes, I could be wrong but I think Gunn has a long contract making him expensive.

  • Brattbakk says:

    I am wrong, according to what I just read, Gunn has a year left on his Norwich deal. I wouldn’t be against us going for him.

  • DixieD says:

    Given we’ve known since January that this position was needing filled, I’ll be raging if we don’t already have a replacement as good as signed. If we’re still scrambling about in a few weeks time without a keeper having been signed, then it’ll perfectly demonstrate how absolutely amateurish and disjointed our recruitment dept really is!

  • TicToc says:

    There’s another option, a proven shot-stopper though not that great with his feet but we’d have to fight off Real Madrid and El Ettifaq (according to the reliable SMSM) though a ‘significant’ bid and we could have him. As he currently plays in the SPL, it’s also removing a consistent threat to our strikers.
    Well, just a thought! 🙂

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