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New striker, Matt O’Riley wish, cull of bloated squad – what could happen in January window



Celtic are expected to be active during the January transfer window, with Brendan Rodgers on the lookout for reinforcements as the Parkhead outfit look to retain their Premiership crown.


Under Rodgers’ predecessor Ange Postecoglou, Celtic were quick out of the starting blocks in terms of bringing in new recruits from Asia, such as Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate.

Rodgers has already confirmed that this won’t be the case this season but with a number of his best players away at the start of 2024 at the Asian Cup and a drop in performance levels this season, the Northern Irishman knows fresh blood will help reinvigorate his team.


READ MORE; Rangers lead ‘three-horse’ race for versatile £2.5m winger as Celtic target drops subtle transfer clue

Striker appears to be the priority, particularly with Kyogo Furuhashi and Oh Hyeong-gyu expected to be away with Japan and South Korea for some weeks due to the Asian Cup.

Rodgers is light on the ground in the final third. Brondby’s young Danish hitman Mathias Kvistgaarden has been linked with Celtic for the best part of six months now, while Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski is said to have caught the eye of Celtic’s scouting departments.

Both players would command a sizeable transfer fee but after posting strong financial figures, Celtic are in a position to loosen the purse strings.


Matt O’Riley is one of Celtic’s most prized possessions.Matt O’Riley is one of Celtic’s most prized possessions.

Matt O’Riley is one of Celtic’s most prized possessions.

Given Celtic continue to suffer injuries to central defenders – Cameron Carter-Vickers has a hamstring complaint, while the luckless Stephen Welsh keeps picking up knocks – then a move for a centre-half cannot be ruled out.

Rodgers landed Gustaf Lagerbielke and Maik Nawrocki over the summer but neither have been regulars.

A loan move for out-of-favour Nottingham Forest defender Scott McKenna has been mooted in the media.

The Scotland defender needs game-time to stay in Steve Clarke’s national squad for Euro 2024 and while he is predominantly left-sided, where Liam Scales currently plays, he would enhance Celtic’s current options.


It would also not be a surprise to see Celtic bolster their central midfield options given that two summer recruits, Kwon Hyeok-kyu and Odin Thiago Holm, have been unable to make a tangible first-team impact.

Goalkeeper is also another interesting position.

Current No 1 Joe Hart is out of contract at the end of the season and Celtic are known to be mulling over their options in that department.


Rodgers has gone on record to state that the squad is far too big and there could be more outgoings than incomings at Celtic Park.

Goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist, defenders Alexandro Bernabei,

Yuki Kobayashi and Gustaf Lagerbielke, midfielders

Kwon, Holm, James McCarthy, Yosuke Ideguchi and forward players Marco Tilio and

Johnny Kenny could be allowed to leave – either permanently or on loan – should clubs be found for them.

This would free up wages and space in the first-team squad, which currently sits at 37 players.

Ideguchi’s loan move to Avispa Fukuouka is likely to be made permanent, while Lagerbielke’s future is more complicated given he has already represented two clubs already this season in Celtic and Elfsborg.


READ MORE; Celtic now make approach to sign Scott McKenna

One player who is definitely departing this month is Nat Phillips.

The Liverpool defender has not impressed during his loan spell and is due to return to Anfield.

Celtic would not entertain bids for any of their star players right now.

Liel Abada, just back from injury, is in the notebook of many clubs on the continent but his recent injury probably means Celtic are safe from suitors.

The participation of several key Celtic players in the Asian Cup also takes them out of the equation for some teams.



However, this is not the case for Matt O’Riley, Celtic’s most prized possession right now.

Serie A leaders Internazionale were credited with an interest last month in the Dane and back in the summer, Celtic batted away interest from Leeds United.

The clubs eyeing him up now are of far greater repute given his excellent performances domestically and in the Champions League.

Only a mega-bucks bid would tempt the Celtic board into selling and reports suggest the player is quite settled in Glasgow.

A summer departure would appear more likely at this stage.

Another midfielder, David Turnbull, is out of contract in June and with Italian clubs looking at him, Celtic may choose to cash in this month.


January signing priority: It has to be a striker to fill in for Furuhashi when away with Japan and give greater depth should their talisman get injured.


Please don’t make a bid: Matt O’Riley, closely followed by Furuhashi.


Players out of contract in the summer: Joe Hart, David Turnbull, Paulo Bernardo (end of loan).