The 26-year-old moved to Parkhead in July and signed a four-year deal with Ange Postecoglou’s side, which was left short of defenders with Shane Duffy, Jonjoe Kenny and Diego Laxalt’s loan deals all expiring, Kristofer Ajer heading to the English Premier League and Christopher Jullien’s on-going absence through injury.
After targeting the Swede, a £4.3m bid proved enough to unexpectedly tempt the Russian club to the table ahead of the SPFL kick-off, as Oleg Yarovinsky has admitted they had factored in the defender in their squad as part of this season’s tilt at the Russian Premier League and UEFA Conference League.
Discussing his side’s remaining defensive set-up, the sporting director said the offer was too good to turn down, for both club and player.
Yarovinsky said: ”There was a proposal for Karl Starfelt , which we did not initially plan to sell. But we received a good offer for both Karl and us, so we accepted it.”
Starfelt had a slow start in Scotland but has now played 10 times under Postecoglou, and was also called up to his national side during the recent international break and featured in a 2-1 win for Sweden over Uzbekistan, which his Old Firm rival Filip Helander sat out.
He has since been joined by more defensive re-enforcements at Parkhead including Josip Juranovic and Liam Scales.
Celtic face Real Betis on Thursday in the Europa League group stage, matchday one.