Fraser Forster is back at Southampton for talks about his future- with two years left to run on his Saints deal.
The keeper has spent the last two weeks training with Celtic at Lennoxtown but with his loan deal now completed he has returned to the south coast to discuss his future.
Despite reported interest in Joe Hart, Forster is Neil Lennon’s first choice keeper for next season regardless of whether it takes a loan or permanent transfer to make the move happen.
There are a number of obstacles to overcome to the keeper re-joining Celtic such as the two years left on his contract, interest from other clubs or a possible reprieve at Southampton.
This morning The Sun reports:
FRASER FORSTER is back in Southampton for crunch talks with Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl and the club hierarchy which could decide his future within a week.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon is desperate to secure a deal for the giant keeper – permanent or loan – to bring him back for the push for a record 10-in-a-row
The 32-year-old still has two years left of a hugely lucrative contract at St Mary’s which he is not prepared to completely write off. Saints’ Chinese owner Gao Jisheng is looking to cut the wage bill and recoup money as he seeks to sell the club.
Forster, a £10 million buy from Celtic in 2014, will try to establish Hasenhuttl’s thoughts on his future at the club plus – if he is allowed to go – how much Jisheng and the board will be prepared to compromise with finances. For Hoops chief executive Peter Lawwell there is plenty to consider.
With Craig Gordon joining Hearts yesterday Scott Bain is now the only keeper at Celtic with first team experience.
Celtic’s first competitive game will be on August 1 but having Forster on board for the Champions League could prove critical to opening up £30m plus from UEFA. Never before has reaching the group stage meant more to Celtic after two seasons of missing out.