Report: Celtic hoping to sign Groningen defender Samir Memisevic

Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Celtic celebrates following the Scottish Cup Final between Motherwell and Celtic at Hampden Park on May 19, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Could Scottish Premiership champions replicate Virgil van Dijk's success by raiding Eredivisie outfit FC Groningen for another centre-back?

Celtic player Virgil Van Dijk in action during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park Stadium on March 1, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In June 2013, Celtic signed a little-known Groningen defender called Virgil van Dijk. Five years later, the Dutchman is the most expensive centre-back in football history after Liverpool paid £75 million for his services.

And, perhaps with the rapid rise of Van Dijk in mind, Celtic are now reportedly interested in raiding Groningen again.

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According to Bosnian publication Fokus, the Scottish Premiership champions are hoping to strengthen a leaky backline by bringing in Samir Memisevic, a 25-year-old centre-back who has been at Groningen since 2016.

The two-time Bosnia international has established himself as one of the Eredivisie’s most solid defenders in that time. Excellent in the air and blessed with good reading of the game, Memisevic started 28 league games last season and has featured in both of Groningen’s clashes in 2018/19 so far.

Samir Memisevic of FC Groningen disappointed after the game during the Dutch Eredivisie  match between Vitesse v FC Groningen at the GelreDome on August 12, 2018 in Arnhem Netherlands

But will he still be playing in Holland at the end of the month? Memisevic’s contract expires next summer, meaning Groningen may be forced to sell in order to avoid losing him for free so Celtic could harbour hopes of landing him on the cheap.

Fokus adds that Galatasaray were also interested but have now turned their attention to other targets, making Celtic’s chances just that little bit better.

(L-R) Fran Sol of Willem II , Samir Memisevic of FC Groningen during the Dutch Eredivisie  match between FC Groningen v Willem II at the NoordLease Stadium on August 17, 2018 in Groningen...

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