Celtic are set for their first UEFA Champions League group stage campaign in over five years, and after the season the Hoops have just had, there’s a reason to be optimistic.
Ange Postecoglou has been a breath of fresh air for the Glasgow giants since arriving last summer, with the Australian manager bringing the Scottish Premiership title back to Celtic Park and doing so whilst playing entertaining and electric football.
Shrewd signings from Japan and smaller European nations have played a huge role in Postecoglou’s success, and with Celtic now back in the Champions League proper, the Hoops manager will have to make signings that can compete in the competition.
With that in mind, here are five players who Celtic should consider signing this summer if they are to leave their mark in the Champions League next season.
Joe Hart has been solid for Celtic this season, but at 35-years-old, planning for the future for a new starter between the sticks will be a wise move from the Scottish giants, and Benfica youngster Mile Svilar could be an exciting option.
The youngest goalkeeper to ever play for Benfica and in the Champions League ahead of one Iker Casillas, Svilar is set to leave Benfica for free this summer, and at 22-years-old, the Belgian youngster has time on his hands to develop into a top-class keeper. Moreover, Jota has the opportunity to sell the Celtic project to the former R.S.C. Anderlecht prospect.
Probably the most realistic potential signing on this entire list, Ko Itakura is reportedly a target for Celtic this summer after impressing for Schalke 04 in their title-winning season as the German giants returned to the Bundesliga.
With Premier League sides also interested in the Japanese defender, Celtic’s new relationship with the Asian country could make Postecoglou’s side strong favourites to land Itakura, and the defender would be a welcome addition ahead of the Champions League.
A left-back looks to be one position Postecoglou is eager to improve on this summer, and with Marcel Halstenberg leaving RB Leipzig at the end of his contract, the German defender could be ideal for Celtic.
The 30-year-old has been with Leipzig since 2015 and has been a member of the squad through their rapid rise in both Germany and Europe, and with Halstenberg set to leave for free this summer, Celtic could be an ideal destination for the experienced fullback given what the Hoops are looking for in the transfer market.
Sometimes Champions League money can lead clubs to do some crazy things in the market, and for Celtic, why not just go all out and try and sign Manchester United star Jesse Lingard, with the midfielder set for free agency this summer.
Whilst West Ham remain the strong favourites to sign the England international, Lingard could be tempted by the passion and success of Celtic and supporters, and with Champions League football guaranteed for the Hoops, a move to Scotland might not be so unrealistic for the 29-year-old attacker.
From one former West Ham star to one who is leaving the east London side for free this summer, Andriy Yarmolenko is set to depart the Premier League side at the end of his contract, and for Celtic, the 32-year-old could be ideal for what the club need.
A right-winger is on Postecoglou’s transfer list for the window, and whilst Yarmolenko’s time in England has been plagued with injuries and inconsistent form, the Ukrainian international could be perfect for Celtic’s first year back in the Champions League since 2017.