Champions who stand still and admire their success tend to get left behind. And while it’s unlikely that the 30-point gap between first and second in Scotland will be reduced substantially next season, Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers will know that a failure to push on in the transfer market means their stunning, treble winning season may be very difficult to repeat.
Therefore, it appears that he’s not just targeting players who could improve the Champions squad, but the starting XI too. Jonny Hayes was arguably the most impressive player in the league outside of Parkhead last season, and the former Aberdeen winger could fill the gap left by Patrick Roberts’ return to Manchester City.
And he could be joined on the Celtic team-sheet next season by PSV Eindhoven full-back Josh Brenet. According to De Telegraaf, the two-time Dutch international is on Celtic’s radar though they will have to move quickly – Watford, Eintracht Frankfurt, Cologne, Udinese and Fiorentina are also interested.
One for the future?
The 23-year-old may have started just 13 Eredivisie games last season as PSV finished a disappointing third but his departure would represent a major blow. The £3.5 million-rated defender is a versatile player capable of playing on the right or left of defence, making him an excellent back-up option for Santiago Arias or Jetro Willems.
PSV's Joshua Brenet
However, there’s reason to believe he could play a far bigger role at Celtic. While his arrival would surely spell the end for Costa Rican right-back Cristian Gamboa, used as an afterthought by Rodgers since arriving from West Brom, long-serving starter Mikael Lustig may also come under pressure.
The Swede was as consistent as ever last season, signing a new contract until 2019 as a result. However, Lustig will be 31 before the year is out and Celtic should not put off targeting a long-term successor.
And they will find fewer better than the versatile, athletic Brenet – a player who has won two Eredivisie titles in his three seasons in the PSV first team.