Defender linked with Celtic and Sunderland responds when asked about moving abroad

Bahlul Mustafazade, the Azerbaijan international defender linked with Celtic and Sunderland over the past 12 months, has again reiterated his desire to play overseas.

Bahlul Mustafazade in action for Azerbaijan against Hungary
Bahlul Mustafazade in action for Azerbaijan against Hungary

The 22-year-old, who was first linked with the Hoops back in April after impressing for Gabala, was expected to come to Scotland for a trial period, which never materialised.

Instead, he moved to Gabala's rivals Sabah in June 2019, signing a three-year deal.

Mustafazade made his international debut in September, and earlier this month was linked with Sunderland.

The defender was asked about Sunderland's interest in the wake of Azerbaijan's 2-0 defeat to Wales in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Post-match, he was asked: "In the last gew international matches you have performed well. Would you like to move to a foreign league?"

He replied: "Of course. I really want to [play abroad].

"Recently, Sunderland were said to be interested, I can’t name any club specifically.

"[But] they did not say anything to me, there was no official proposal.

"For my development, it will be necessary to move abroad - I am aware of this, and if the opportunity arises, then I will definitely consider it."

Celtic are well-stocked in defence, with Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer linking up well to provide a formidable central partnership, while the likes of Hatem Abd Elhamed, Moritz Bauer, Jeremie Frimpong, Boli Bolingoli and Jonny Hayes in the full-back areas.

Jozo Simunovic is stepping up his return from injury while Nir Bitton and Jack Hendry can also operate at the back.

Mustafazade is unlikely to be a primary target for Celtic but given his desire to play abroad, he could