A deal for Celtic to sign Sweden defender Carl Starfelt from Rubin Kazan this summer could be ‘imminent’, according to the Daily Record.

Starfelt has returned to the Russian Premier Liga side for pre-season ahead of their curtain-raising clash with Spartak Moscow in two weeks’ time. The 26-year-old was a crucial aspect of manager Leonid Slutsky’s plans at Volzhane last season, but is on the way out.

Slutsky started Starfelt in all but one league fixture, and saw his centre-back score three and assist three goals. The three-cap enforcer also kept 11 clean sheets over his 29 outings, and helped the Ak Bars Arena side qualify for the Europa League play-offs.

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But Starfelt is set to join Celtic after the Hoops progressed their talks with Rubin Kazan over a £4m transfer. Ange Postecoglou views the 6 ft 1 defender as his top centre-half target, per the Daily Record. He also views the Volzhane star as the likely successor to Kristoffer Ajer.

A deal for Celtic to sign Starfelt from Rubin Kazan is now said to be ‘imminent’. The stopper will be one of many to arrive at Parkhead with Postecoglou sharing, via The Scottish Sun, his plans. “There’s no doubt this squad needs bolstering. We have a lack of depth.”

Postecoglou hints at big week of Celtic announcements

However, Starfelt’s move to Celtic is being held up as Rubin Kazan would owe Gothenburg a significant cut. Volzhane agreed to a large future sell-on fee with the Swedish side in their deal for the defender in 2019. And this clause is now delaying the Stockholm native moving.

Starfelt leaving Rubin Kazan for Celtic only a matter

While negotiations between Celtic and Rubin Kazan are being held up, it’s only a matter of time before Starfelt joins. Postecoglou is eager to sign the centre-half, and will want him in Glasgow soon for the start of the season.

Starfelt also wants to complete his Parkhead switch. The Scottish Sun note the 26-year-old’s ‘very interested’ in becoming a Hoops player and should soon wear green and white.

The deal will be a big boost for Postecoglou as he shores up a key area of concern in his new side. And it gives the Greek coach his Ajer heir, amid interest from Norwich, per Pink Un.