By Noel Whelan

14th Jun, 2020 | 12:00pm

'Can Celtic afford him?' - Exclusive: Pundit drools over 'great' player Lennon's trying to lure

Noel Whelan claims that Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster has got a lot of thinking to do over whether he signs a permanent deal at Celtic this summer.

The former Aberdeen and Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has questioned whether the Bhoys will be able to meet his wage demands as interest builds in the Premier League.

As revealed by Football Insider, Chelsea have joined the Hoops in the hunt to sign the £10million-rated 32-year-old after his dazzling form on loan at Parkhead.

It is understood the Blues view Forster, who is Celtic’s top transfer target this summer, as a backup option for next season.

Whelan, who admits he thought the goalkeeper’s form was worthy of another England call-up, believes Celtic will have do a lot of convincing to keep Forster at Parkhead.

Whelan told Football Insider: “He’s a player that was surplus to requirements at Southampton and he has rejuvenated himself at Celtic. I felt he was on the verge of another England call-up, the way he was playing. 

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“With having such a great season with the performances he’s put in, now teams are looking at him in the English Premier League. Can Celtic can afford him?

“He’s got two years left on his contract at Southampton – can they afford the wages that he’s getting there, because he’s a high earner at Southampton? Can you persuade him Celtic are the club to be at at the start of next season?

“There’s a lot of work to be done on this contract and a lot of thought to go into it from the player himself – does he want to stay in the Premier League and give that a shot?

“If it’s a top-four, he will be playing in Europe so it’s one of those – he seems like he’s very, very at home at Celtic because he’s been there before, Neil Lennon seems to have a great relationship with the player. It really does come down to the player and where he wants to play his football.” 

In other Celtic news, it can be revealed the club are hiking up their offer in bid to re-sign international.