Rubin Kazan coach Leonid Slutsky has admitted that Carl Starfelt could be on his way with Celtic in talks to bring the Sweden international to the Scottish Premiership, while speaking to Zvezda FC.
As Kristoffer Ajer closes in on a move to Brentford, the Hoops are wasting little time as they prepare for life without the 6ft 6ins Norwegian.
Ajer will be replaced by another Scandinavian centre-back, it seems, with Starfelt dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on a deal expected to set Celtic back around £4 million.
Transfer market know-it-all Fabrizio Romano even claimed, over the weekend, that the arrangement was all-but ‘done’, even if he was unwilling to bust out that ‘Here we go’ catchphrase just yet.
Starfelt, a Stockholm-born defender who moved to Russia from IFK Goteborg in 2019, was left out of Rubin Kazan’s 4-0 pre-season defeat to Spartak Moscow last week and his departure will leave a massive hole at the heart of Slutsky’s backline.
Is Carl Starfelt set to become Celtic’s next signing?
“The loss of Starfelt? These are the rules of the game,” said the former Hull City, Vitesse Arnhem and Russia coach.
“If we receive an interesting offer that is beneficial to everyone, we are forced to accept it. This confuses my plans a little, but such a situation can always arise.
“It is possible that someone will leave us this summer. This is normal.”
Rubin director Oleg Yarovinsky confirmed on Wednesday that ‘we are negotiating’ with Celtic as Starfelt packs his bags and plans his route to Glasgow.
The 26-year-old is unlikely to be the only key player on his way out of the Kazan Arena before the end of the summer either.