Kristijan Lovric looks set to miss out on a move to Celtic this summer as HNK Gorica won’t accept a penny less than £3.5 million for the free-scoring winger, as reported by Sportske Novosti.
While the Glasgow giants finally announced the signing of one Croatia international at the weekend – the dogged, dynamic Josip Juranovic could be the right-back Celtic have needed since Mikael Lustig’s peak powers – Lovric will have to wait to join forces with his Zagreb-born compatriot in Scotland.
Gorica president Nenad Crnko has made it clear Lovric won’t be going anywhere for less than £3.5 million.
The Goricani aren’t exactly rolling in cash at the moment – there are concerns about a lack of investment due to behind-the-scenes issues at the Gradski Stadion – but Crnko believes another season with Lovric would be worth far more to the club than the £3.5 million they would get by cashing in on their star man and set-piece specialist.
Celtic hope to add Kristijan Lovric to their squad
That’s not to say Celtic can’t afford Lovric.
The Glasgow giants still have cash to splash despite adding Juranovic to Liel Abada, Kyogo Furuhashi and Carl Starfelt, not to mention high-earning free agents Joe Hart and James McCarthy.
But Ange Postecoglou appears to be prioritising a striker rather than a left-winger.
Giorgos Giakoumakis, the 2021 Eredivisie Golden Boot winner, is the number one target at present, having already held talks with Postecoglou.
Furthermore, with Ryan Christie still a Celtic player and the electrifying Mikey Johnston on his way back from another injury, a new left-sided forward would be more of a luxury than a necessity.
Of course, that could change if Christie swaps a starring role at one of Europe’s form sides (six wins in a row, 24 goals scored) for the, ahem, glitz and glamour of a potential relegation battle at Burnley.
Lovric produced 18 goals and seven assists last season, earning comparisons with Arjen Robben due to his penchant for cutting inside and firing shots at goal from the edge of the box.