Celtic have offered £4 million for Carl Starfelt and £3.5 million for Aaron Hickey as the Scottish giants look to reinforce Ange Postecoglou’s defence, according to Expressen and Il Resto del Carlino.
If reports are accurate, Neil Lennon’s tough-talking successor wants to build a new-look Hoops side based on a core of players proven in the hustle and bustle of British football.
Postecoglou feels Celtic’s sudden demise is the result of substandard recruitment, with so many overseas signings struggling to make their mark in green and white.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise Postecoglou is backing Celtic to continue their long-running pursuit of Aaron Hickey.
The talented left-back may be plying his trade in Serie A for Bologna these days but made his name in Scotland. Hickey even spent time in Celtic’s academy before bursting on to the scene at Hearts.
Will Aaron Hickey and Carl Starfelt join Celtic?
The Glasgow giants stepped up their interest this week, submitting a £3.5 million bid for the 19-year-old.
Bologna, however, have rejected the bid out of hand and it remains to be seen whether Celtic return with a new offer during the next days and weeks.
But while an offer in the region of £4 million wasn’t enough to land Hickey, it may be sufficient to seal Starfelt’s signature.
The ball-playing centre-half is expected to replace want-away Kristoffer Ajer at Parkhead, with Celtic prepared to fork out more than £4 million to Rubin Kazan for the Stockholm-born Sweden international.
According to Expressen, Starfelt’s former club, IFK Gothenberg, are set for a substantial windfall too having included a 10 per cent sell-on clause in Starfelt’s contract when letting him leave for Rubin Kazan in 2019.
“We have a resale clause on most of the players we have sold, including Starfelt,” confirms IFK sporting director Pontus Farnerud in conversation with GP yesterday.