Celtic on transfer alert as 22-year-old EPL defender 'may be available for loan' in January

Filip Benkovic (left) with Kieran Tierney. The pair now ply their trade in the English Premier League, but the Croatian stopper has been linked with a return to Celtic
Filip Benkovic (left) with Kieran Tierney. The pair now ply their trade in the English Premier League, but the Croatian stopper has been linked with a return to Celtic
Share this article
0
Have your say

Celtic have been put on high alert after it emerged Leicester could make Filip Benkovic available for loan in January.

The Croatian defender was recalled by the Foxes at the end of a successful season-long loan spell with the Hoops over the summer, the 22-year-old reuniting with his former manager at Celtic, Brendan Rodgers, after the Northern Irishman took the job at the King Power Stadium.

Reports in the Daily Telegraph suggest Benkovic - who has failed to break into the Leicester starting line-up - could be sent out on loan come January, which could potentially interest the Hoops.

Defender Jozo Simunovic is currently sidelined while defensive midfielder Nir Bitton has occasionally been deployed as an auxiliary centre-back to alleviate selection problems caused by suspension and injury concerns.

At the moment, Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien are Neil Lennon's first-choice centre-half pairing with Boli Bolingoli and Greg Taylor options at left-back while the right-back berth can be filled by either Hatem Abd Elhamed or Jeremie Frimpong.

However, Ajer has been used at right-back in some matches by Lennon and the chance to get a player of Benkovic's quality may prove too good to pass up.

Would he return?

The former Dinamo Zagreb man has spoken fondly of his time at Celtic, and with the Hoops hoping to remain in Europe into 2020, Benkovic could be a vital temporary acquisition as the club chases three domestic trophies as well as European progress.

Rodgers, who has opted for Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu as his centre-half pairing, knows what to expect from his former club and may be happy to sanction a loan return for Benkovic.

There is always the possibility that Leicester could look to loan Benkovic to a lower Premier League side, or a Championship side chasing promotion if they want him to stay south of the Border.

But a return to Celtic may suit all parties.