Celtic are ready to cut short Shane Duffy’s season long loan from Brighton.
Video Celts understands that the decision has already been made inside Celtic Park to exercise the option in the loan agreement with the Irishman returning to the south coast when the transfer window opens in January.
Celtic signed Duffy in a blaze of glory on the back of their Champions League exit from Ferencvaros with the consensus being that his steel and leadership qualities were exactly what was needed for a historic season.
At the turn of the year Celtic’s successful run of 28 points from 10 matches was built around a 3-5-2 formation but with Jozo Simunovic released there was a vacancy at the back alongside Chris Jullien and Kris Ajer.
Duffy scored in his first two matches, at Ross County and St Mirren but there were early signs that his lack of action last season and through six months of Lockdown had affected his sharpness.
Before the Glasgow derby in October he had emergency surgery to have a tooth removed but with Celtic losing eight goals in three matches covering the games against AC Milan and Aberdeen his performances came in for heavy criticism.
The Europa League home match against Sparta Prague was the last of 13 matches that he started but despite being dropped Celtic have continued to ship goals. Last night Duffy was an unused substitute in Celtic’s 4-1 defeat in Prague.
Almost all loan deals give either party an opt-out clause when the Transfer Window reopens with Celtic exercising their right with Ajer, Jullien, Nir Bitton, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Stephen Welsh providing options in central defence.