Belgian publication Foot DRC reported this week that Celtic are interested in signing Newcastle United stalwart Chancel Mbemba. The 23-year-old is among the senior players who Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is willing to sell this month.
Benitez is a fan of Celtic centre-back Jozo Simunovic and The Daily Mail reported last summer that the Spanish manager was preparing a £9 million offer.
With that in mind, would a simple swap deal suit both clubs?
The Magpies manager has given himself until January 20 to conclude his transfer business this month and, considering that's only nine days away, swapping players is less time-consuming and less stressful than selling and then buying a replacement, which involves negotiations with several different clubs.
Benitez wound up signing Florian Lejeune but the Frenchman hasn't looked a great return for the £8.7 million transfer fee and another centre-back to partner Jamal Lascelles should be considered, given how United are only two points above the relegation zone.
Quite why Benitez doesn't rate Mbemba is anybody's guess, but if he is willing to swap the Congolese defender for Simunovic then Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers should rip his hand off.
The reported Celtic target is well liked among Newcastle fans and there is every chance that he would be an outstanding signing for the Hoops, if it materialises.
Of course, Benitez might want to sell Mbemba to raise funds for, say, a striker, but if both managers intend on signing another replacement centre-backs for Mbemba and Simunovic respectively then surely a swap deal saves a lot of time and effort in a month when transfers are notoriously difficult - especially at Newcastle.