By Frank McAvennie

13th Jan, 2021 | 8:57am

Exclusive: McAvennie shocked as Celtic beaten by Leuven to Benkovic signing

Frank McAvennie is shocked Leicester City defender Filip Benkovic has chosen to move to Belgian side OH Leuven over Celtic this month.

The Parkhead legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed “it is really strange” that the “great” 23-year-old turned down a return to the Scottish Premiership champions.

Leicester confirmed on Tuesday night that the centre-half has joined Jupiler Pro League side OH Leuven on loan until the end of the 2020/21 season.

Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy revealed the club’s interest in Benkovic on Sunday.

Football Insider understands that the Hoops held talks over a temporary deal for the Croatian who won the the treble while on loan at Parkhead in 2018/19 earlier this month.

McAvennie urged Neil Lennon’s side to act fast in the transfer market after missing out on Benkovic.

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“I really liked Benkovic,” he told Football Insider. “I thought he was a good player.

“That is a strange one. Something must have happened for him not to want to come back up here. It won’t be about money because it is a loan deal.

“It is a really surprising one. People want to move to Belgium over Celtic? It does not make a lot of sense to me.

“It is a blow because he is a very good player.

“They have got to sign someone this month. I think it should have been done by now. They should have had somebody earmarked before the window that was ready to come in now, rather than later. I do not get this.”   

In other news, a big update on Odsonne Edouard’s Celtic future can be revealed.