According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic’s move for Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster could fall through as he has decided to fight for his place at St. Mary’s and not return to Parkhead on loan.
The Scottish Premiership giants had agreed a season-long loan deal with the Saints with an option to buy, but Forster only wants a permanent deal, and that is likely to cost Celtic £5 million in transfer fees.
His £90,000-a-week salary is also an issue, and the Hoops are already moving on to other targets as they look to have a contingency plan in place should the move fail.
“The club had agreed a season-long loan deal with Southampton with an option to buy. This wasn’t about money — there was also every desire to push the boat out on personal terms,” a Celtic insider told The Scottish Sun.
“He has an extremely lucrative contract at Southampton. Fraser had also indicated he was happy to stay at Celtic. But Fraser’s had a conversation with the Southampton manager and has decided to fight for his place and not to return.
“It’s a big disappointment. Fraser was magnificent last season and everyone wanted him to stay, but it’s his decision. Everything was done to keep him. Now, though, it’s about moving on.”
Hoops manager Neil Lennon is hoping an agreement can still be reached between both parties, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks.
Forster played a huge rule as Celtic secured a ninth consecutive title in 2019-20, and the club wants him back for the important 10-in-a-row bid.
The 32-year-old could fancy his chances of forcing his way back into Southampton’s XI after manager Ralph Hasenhuttl told him he would be given a fair chance to prove himself.
While the Premier League side are keen on Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham, there is no prospect of him being used as a makeweight in a deal for Forster.