Do Andreas Granqvist heroics suggest Celtic should revive deal seven years on?

Brendan Rodgers manager of Celtic looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League group B match between RSC Anderlecht and Celtic FC at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium on September 27, 2017 in...

Andreas Granqvist has admitted interest from Celtic in the past but now could be the perfect time for the Scottish champions to make their move.

Sweden's forward Marcus Berg and Sweden's defender Andreas Granqvist (R) celebrate at the end of the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Italy and Sweden, on November...

The narrative has been dominated by one of the most ignominious defeats in the history of Italian football, the Azzurri missing out on a World Cup for the first time since 1958.

While Italy draw 0-0 in Monday night’s play-off second leg, losing 1-0 on aggregate, Sweden’s role in one of the modern game’s most shocking upsets cannot be understated. Neither can the heroic performance of 32-year-old centre-back Andreas Granqvist.

The veteran defender of 68 caps rolled back the years with a near faultless performance to keep the vaunted Italian attackers of Ciro Immobile, Andrea Belotti and co goalless across two legs.

Andreas Granqvist of Sweden and Ciro Immobile of Italy battle for possession during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: First Leg between Sweden and Italy at Friends arena on...

And his performance in the San Siro on Monday, capped by a superb first-half block and a clearance to stop an Immobile effort trickling over the line, was as crucial to Sweden’s victory as Jakub Johansson’s first-leg winner.

It was the sort of performance which proved that the Krasnodar defender still belongs at a high level. Perhaps at a place like Celtic – if the Scottish champions are enthused enough by Granqvist’s display to revive a deal that has been dead for years.

The former Wigan Athletic defender told the Daily Record in April 2010 that Celtic were interested in bringing him to Scotland. Seven years on, Brendan Rodgers should consider bringing the deal back to life with Celtic crying out for reinforcements at centre-half.

Celtic's head coach Brendan Rodgers gives a press conference at Celtic Park in Glasgow, United Kingdom on September 11, 2017, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match between...

Injuries have stretched The Hoops’ defence to its limit this season but Granqvist would, on paper, be an affordable and short-term solution – albeit one who proved he still has plenty of energy left in those ageing limbs.

Rodgers told the Scottish Sun that he was eyeing ‘affordability’ in January with a centre-back his top target. Mikael Lustig’s international partner could fit the bill.

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