Celtic are bracing themselves for a big transfer window.
Any incomings should help to push them towards a successful defence of their Scottish Premiership title, but it is likely to be outgoings that shape their long-term future.
Premier League vultures from England have made their way north of the border and are ready to pick at the cream of the Parkhead crop.
Rumours regarding a big-money move for Virgil van Dijk refuse to go away, with Arsenal and Manchester United among those credited with holding an interest in the highly-rated Dutch centre-half.
Former Celtic forward Andy Walker believes Celtic can retain his services until the end of the season, before reluctantly sanctioning a sale, but he fears there could be a ‘surprise’ departure in Glasgow.
Kris Commons has been a leading light for the Hoops since his arrival from Derby County in January 2011, but the talented playmaker has fallen out of favour under Ronny Deila and is expected to head south in January – with the likes of Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Championship side Bolton Wanderers all said to be keen.
Walker told Sky Sports News: “The big focus on Celtic will be, what do they do in the transfer window?
“There is a suspicion that Virgil van Dijk might go. I don’t think he’ll go in January, I think it’s the end of the season. But, obviously, money talks and if a big bid from one of the Premier League clubs in England comes in for Virgil van Dijk, I’m sure he’d like to go and, if the fee is big enough, then Celtic will certainly do business.
“Maybe Kris Commons will be on his way. It’s clear that Ronny Deila doesn’t fancy Kris Commons, which is a big surprise. This is Celtic’s Player of the Year last season, Scotland’s Player of the Year, but he hasn’t really featured regularly this season. It will be interesting to see how Celtic come out of the transfer window.”
Commons appears destined to move on, with no extension agreed to his current contract.
Celtic will not want to risk losing him for nothing, so a small fee – believed to be around £350,000 – will be generated for his services.
Van Dijk would bring considerably more into the Parkhead coffers, with speculative valuations suggesting that he could cost anywhere between seven and 15 million pounds.