Celtic prioritise right-back Josip Juranovic but are set to miss out on striker Thomas Henry
Efforts to persuade Manchester City’s Yan Couto to join manager Ange Postecoglou’s squad on a season-long loan appear to have faltered amid rival interest from Portuguese side Braga, despite the highly-rated 19-year-old Brazilian’s attendance at last week’s Europa League tie against Jablonec at Celtic Park.
The Parkhead club have already given up on Royal Antwerp’s Portuguese right-back Aurelio Buta who is closing in on a move to the English Premier League with Everton.
A permanent deal for Juranovic, valued at around £3 million by his Polish club Legia Warsaw, is now regarded as a more viable option for Celtic.
But they look to have missed out on striking target Thomas Henry after it emerged the French player is set to remain in Belgian football as he closes in on a £4.5 million move from Leuven to Gent.
Juranovic, who joined Legia at the start of last season in a €400,000 move from Hajduk Split, was a member of the Croatian squad at this summer’s Euro 2020 finals.
The 26-year-old played in their 3-1 win over Scotland in the final group game at Hampden and also started the 5-3 defeat against Spain in the round of 16.
Like Celtic, Legia failed to secure Champions League group stage football this season after losing to Dinamo Zagreb in the third qualifying round. They now face a Europa League play-off tie against Slavia Prague in which Juranovic is expected to play.
It means Celtic, who are at home in the first leg of their own Europa League play-off tie against AZ Alkmaar on Wednesday, may have to wait until closer to the end of the transfer window on August 31 before they can complete the deal.
Postecoglou is currently relying on Anthony Ralston in the right-back role with the 22-year-old, who signed a new one-year contract in June, having been an ever present in the seven games played under the Australian coach so far this season.
While Ralston has performed admirably in recent matches, the need for more competition and cover at right-back remains clear from Postecoglou’s perspective as he continues to reshape and reinforce the squad he has inherited at Celtic Park.
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