Celtic are reportedly interested in loaning Jordon Ibe this summer as Neil Lennon looks for further reinforcements.
Celtic appear to have taken little time to put a plan of action together after their Champions League exit this week, with The Sun reporting that they are interested in loaning Jordon Ibe from Bournemouth.
Ibe has struggled at the Vitality Stadium, and the report suggests that Howe may be ready to let the winger leave on a temporary basis as long as he has enough cover for the 23-year-old amid current injury concerns.
Despite his struggles, it would appear to be a real statement of intent from the Hoops to sign Ibe, who cost the Cherries £15 million when he signed in 2016 in a then-club-record move (fee reported by BBC Sport).
And one man who may well be impressed by the Bhoys landing Ibe if they do manage to lure him to Parkhead is Steven Gerrard, with the Rangers boss knowing the youngster well from their time together at Liverpool.
Ibe was just breaking into the team as Gerrard was coming towards the end of his time at Anfield. And in 2015, the Gers manager suggested, in comments reported by the Daily Mail, that Ibe had the potential to fill the void left by Raheem Sterling, following the forward’s £49 million move to Manchester City that summer (fee reported by BBC Sport).
“Ibe’s got tons of potential and tons of ability. I think it’s down to Jordon to grasp that position now Raheem has gone,” he said, as reported by the Daily Mail.
“If he can be mentally strong, hungry and want it, the stage is there for him to be a terrific wide-man for Liverpool. He’s certainly got all the tools. I am sure Brendan will give him the same time he gave Raheem and you saw how much he progressed Raheem over the years.”
Of course, Sterling has taken his game to another level during his time at the Etihad Stadium. But his potential was clear when he was at Liverpool, so it says a lot that Gerrard was willing to back Ibe to replace the England international.
The prediction has, so far, been well wide of the mark. But it should encourage Celtic fans that he was being tipped for such great things just a few years ago, especially as he is young enough to get his career back on track should he make the right move.