Celtic were handed a major boost this week when Filip Benkovic admitted that he wants to remain in Glasgow until the end of the 2018/19 season (BBC).
There had been talk that Leicester City would recall the talented centre-back in the January transfer window after an outstanding start to life north of the border, having joined Brendan Rodgers’ side on loan in the summer.
Benkovic has been arguably Celtic’s best of a rather hit-and-miss defensive bunch. And the Hoops’ chances of an eighth straight Scottish Premiership title certainly look a lot better with the former Dinamo Zagreb starlet on board until May.
Speaking to PLZ Soccer, even Rangers legend Barry Ferguson has been impressed by the Celtic loanee – and has tipped The Gers’ Old Firm rivals to try and sign him permanently when the season comes to an end.
“I’ve been highly impressed with him,” said the former Scotland skipper. “Over the last few months when Celtic have started to motor a bit in the league, he’s been solid at the back.
“He’s very composed on the ball and I wouldn’t be surprised if Celtic put in a decent bid to try and prise him away. I think once he gets a season or two under his belt, he’ll be worth a right few pound for Celtic.”
Leicester paid £12 million to sign the 21-year-old last summer (Scottish Sun) and the prospect of selling Benkovic before he’s played a single Premier League game seems very unlikely.
And Celtic would surely have to smash their transfer record even if Leicester were willing to listen to offers, Benkovic having cost £3 million more than the fee Rodgers shelled out to bring Odsonne Edouard to Parkhead from PSG on a permanent basis.
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