Celtic are busy strengthening their squad for the new season – and look likely to add Oliver Ntcham as the latest new signing today.
He follows Jonny Hayes, who was Brendan Rodgers’ first signing of the new campaign, and will come before more reinforcements if the team make it to the Champions League group stages.
There’s no doubting Ntcham and Hayes will help the team immediately and that means other players will have to be shifted by the manager.
But whose Celtic future remains in doubt and could lead to their exit this summer?
We look at five players who could be heading out of the club:
There’s a lot of speculation surrounding Mackay-Steven and where he could end up this summer. Unfortunately for the winger, he’s had a frustrating spell at Celtic and rarely been able to play consistently at any point. He’s played just 56 times in two-and-a-half seasons at the club and managed just four appearances under Rodgers last term – and the signing of Hayes suggests he’s far down the pecking order of wingers at the club. Aberdeen seem interested in signing Mackay-Steven and this is a move we see benefitting both clubs.
Ciftci is so far down the pecking order at Celtic that it’s easy to forget about him actually still being contracted by the club. He’s spent the last two seasons either on the bench or out on loan in Turkey and then Poland. In that time he’s done very little. So we’d be shocked if Celtic don’t try to shift him on in a permanent move to another club before the transfer window closes.
Will Izaguirre be willing to sit behind Kieran Tierney for another season? There’s little to no chance of the young Hoops left back losing his place in the team so it looks like the Honduran will be spending another campaign on the bench – unless he decides to move on. Celtic had no other cover at left back last term, but the signing of Hayes should offer some alternative cover in case anything happens to Tierney. Izaguirre knows the situation is complicated, but he’s one we could see going this summer.
Ajer was a strong performer in a six-month loan spell at Kilmarnock last season and the rave reviews he received led to some Celtic fans hoping he’d return to impress for their team. But he’s started pre-season with an injury and hasn’t featured in any games so far. Ajer has been included in the Champions League squad submitted by the club this week, but we shouldn’t read too much into that as it can change. Dedryck Boyata’s three-month injury lay-off could have an impact on his future as Rodgers may decide to keep him as cover. But Ajer needs to play and the club may see a loan spell this season as better for his long-term future.
Eboue hardly kicked a ball after arriving at the club in January and we find it hard to see how he’ll break into the team this campaign. Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong, Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic are ahead of him in Rodgers’ eyes and Ntcham’s £4million arrival should see him become a first team option too. Eboue has a four-year contract so a permanent move is out of the question, but a loan could be beneficial for the Ivory Coast man.