Brendan Rodgers returns as Celtic manager on three-year deal
Celtic are reportedly eyeing up an opportunistic move for Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin. Brendan Rodgers is keeping one eye on his transfer options, with Joe Hart’s contract situation likely to see the reigning Scottish champions make a change between the sticks before the start of next season.
Hart has been Celtic’s first-choice stopper since arriving from Tottenham in 2021. The two-time Premier League winner has racked up over 100 appearances for the Scottish giants, but his contract is due to expire at the end of the season.
By that point, the former Manchester City star will have surpassed his 37th birthday. And according to The Daily Record, Celtic are scouring the market for alternative goalkeeper options in anticipation of Hart’s departure.
One player to have caught the eye of senior figures at Celtic Park is Lunin. The Ukrainian has found opportunities limited at the Bernabeu and could be available as early as January.
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Lunin may have felt as though his big chance had arrived with Los Blancos at the beginning of the season, when Thibaut Courtois was struck down with injury. The 24-year-old played the first two La Liga matches before being dropped for summer loan signing Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Since then, Lunin has been consigned to the Real Madrid bench. And reports indicate that he is weighing up options away from the Bernabeu to get his career back on track.
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The 6ft 3in stopper was a regular at senior level with Ukrainian sides Dnipro and Zorya Luhansk before signing for Real as a teenager. Loan moves to Leganes, Valladolid and Oviedo were organised to give Lunin more game time, but it appears as though his prospects of becoming first choice in the Spanish capital are fading.
Celtic retained their commanding lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock before the international break. Afterwards, Rodgers praised his squad’s bounce-back ability following the painful defeat to Lazio only three days prior.
“I’m really pleased with the performance today off the back of the game during the week,” said the former Leicester City manager. “We could all touch the pain of that result because our display didn’t merit it.
“But it’s about how you respond. You grieve for 24 hours, I sensed it from everyone, the players and the supporters. But you need to show strength of mentality to get back to winning again. We showed that today because we switched back to perform well today. The players deserve credit for that.”
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