It wouldn’t exactly come as a huge shock if Erik Sviatchenko left Celtic this summer. The Danish defender admitted to BT towards the end of last season that he was frustrated with life at Parkhead after falling behind the resurgent Dedryck Boyata in the pecking order, being left out of the title decider against Hearts.
And with Boyata likely to be Brendan Rodgers’ favoured option alongside Jozo Simunovic when he returns from a thigh injury, Sviatchenko faces another prolonged period warming the bench.
Celtic's Erik Sviatchenko
Therefore, reports in the Scottish Sun that Besiktas have made an attempt to land Sviatchenko on loan, potentially aiming to partner him with Champions League holder Pepe at the Vodafone Arena next season, could be the first step towards the defender departing the Scottish treble winners.
The report adds that Sviatchenko was close to being sold in January amid interest from the Premier League and Celtic would prefer to let him go permanently this summer.
Celtic face losing their key players on an annual basis but it appears that, on this occasion, they would be more than willing to cooperate in a transfer.
And you wonder whether their willingness to let an important squad member like Sviatchenko go is in response to Rodgers holding such high hopes for young Kristoffer Ajer.
The 19-year-old Norwegian is yet to make a league appearance since moving from Start in January 2016 but offered a glimpse of his potential during an impressive loan spell at Kilmarnock in the second half of last season.
Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer
And, according to The Express, Rodgers has told the versatile Ajer that he sees his future at centre-half and has fielded him on a number of occasions in pre-season. This suggests that he will finally get his opportunity in 2017/18.
But is his anticipated emergence enough to compensate for Sviatchenko’s potential departure?