Celtic still needs to reinforce their defence. According to The Scotsman, a new face could join the Bhoys this summer; Jason Denayer. Denayer, a Belgium international, could return to Celtic although Leeds United and Galatasaray also seem to be keen on the player.
The Manchester City defender had a season loan spell at Celtic Park back in the 2014/15 season. Playing alongside Virgil van Dijk, Denayer impressed as he found the net six times in 44 appearances across all competitions.
He helped the Scottish champions claim the Scottish Premiership and League Cup double. For his efforts, Denayer was also awarded the Scotland PFA Young Player of the Year. He was also included in PFA Scotland Team of the Year.
Once the loan spell ran out, Denayer signed a five-year deal with City. He was promoted to the first team to replace departing compatriot Dedryck Boyata, who moved to Parkhead. Instead, Denayer spent the next season in Turkey. He followed it up with another loan sting at Sunderland before returning back to Galatasaray again the previous season.
This summer, Denayer played for the Premier League champions in the International Champions Cup friendlies. However, he is likely to wait longer to make his debut for the Citizens.
It will be a tough task for him to overthrow the likes of John Stones, Vincent Kompany, Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi as Pep Guardiola’s first-choice centre-backs.
Interestingly enough, he could be available this summer if Brendan Rodgers can cough up Manchester City’s valuation of £9million.
Fast and confident on the ball, Denayer will fit well with Rodgers’ type of game. The 23-year-old has two years left on his Manchester City contract. He spent last season on loan at the Turkish giants Galatasaray, helping them clinch the Super Lig after winning the Turkish Kupasi in a previous loan spell.
Denayer, since his exit from Parkhead, has become a vastly experienced player. He has played 148 times, including 39 Super Lig games.
With a point to prove, Denayer could use his time back at Celtic as a stepping stone for his career. He could follow in the footsteps of Virgil van Dijk, Stuart Armstrong, Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster and Ki Sung-Yeung, all of whom earned big money moves. As Boyata proved playing in all three of Belgium’s World Cup group games, signing for Celtic would not be a bad move to aid his international aspirations.
If Celtic are to wade off Rangers’ push to end their dominance in Scotland and progress in Europe, the Hoops must assemble a well-functioning defensive unit. Signing Denayer will provide Rodgers with just that, making it necessary for him to make this deal come through.