Nicolas Kuhn is about to become a Celtic player. The Hoops have agreed a £2.8m fee with Austrian club Rapid Wien to sign the winger, and all the formalities are virtually complete. Kuhn underwent a medical in London and arrived in Glasgow on Monday night to sign his contract and join his new club.
We’ve just crept past the halfway point of the window, and Brendan Rodgers will hope that Celtic are busy in the couple of weeks that remain. Journalist Anthony Joseph says that the Scottish Premiership leaders “aim” to acquire a left-back and a striker before this month is out, while Football Insider report that a goalkeeper is on Celtic’s agenda too. That’s a lot to try and get through in a mid-season window, and the latest update out of Parkhead makes for somewhat concerning reading.
Blow for Rodgers as moves all but ruled out
According to Football Scotland, rumoured goalkeeper target Caoimhin Kelleher may be too expensive. Any permanent transfer for the Liverpool man would require a “hefty outlay”, and while a loan deal may be viable, Celtic would need a favourable wage split, because his existing salary wouldn’t fit within their structure in its entirety.
Elsewhere, talk of a move for Estoril left-back Tiago Araujo has “gone cold” since November, and the same can be said for Brondby striker Mathias Kvistgaarden. BK Hacken’s Romeo Amane, meanwhile, “is on the club’s shortlist”, but Celtic view him more as a summer option than a prospective January addition, with his current employers likely to demand a huge fee to part ways this month.
Based on this report, then, we can say that the four players perhaps most prominently linked with the Hoops almost definitely won’t be joining Rodgers’ side this month.
Van Hooijdonk offers hope
To sound a more optimistic note, one striker target who should be available is Bologna’s Sydney van Hooijdonk. Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported last Friday that he’s poised to leave in the second half of the transfer window, and may have departed earlier were he not needed last weekend amid a suspension for fellow forward Joshua Zirkzee.
The newspaper expects him to end up at Celtic, following in the footsteps of his father Pierre, and they say that negotiations should proceed smoothly because both parties have something the other wants, with Bologna interested in Parkhead talent Rocco Vata. Van Hooijdonk has played very limited football this season, starting just two of his side’s 20 Serie A games, so it’s hard to imagine there’d be too much resistance to a sale.
He could have several options this month to pick from…
This is a deal that could have a big impact too. The Dutchman scored 26 goals in 54 appearances for his previous club Heerenveen, and Celtic need a bit more firepower in their attacking ranks. Right now, midfielder Matt Riley is their joint-top scorer with ten, alongside Kyogo Furuhashi, while designated back-up Hyeon-gyu Oh has only got five, having been entrusted to play just under 700 minutes. Celtic fans, then, shouldn’t be too deflated on the back of the latest news, because there will be other opportunities, even if certain priorities might need to wait until the off-season.