By Will Butcher
Celtic have been joined by Premier League side West Ham in a race to sign Fenerbahce’s Hasan Ali Kaldirim, according to a report.
Yahoo Sport claims that the 18-time Turkey international has received offers from both the Hoops and the Hammers, with Kaldirim’s contract up at the end of the season.
It is believed that Turkish giants Besiktas are also keen on the defender, but Fener do not want to sell one of their stars to a Super Lig rival.
With the Hoops able to offer Champions League football next season, Kaldirim could choose the Hoops over Slaven Bilic’s east London side.
However, it remains to be seen if Kaldirim would start over current first-choice left-back Kieran Tierney as the teenager continues to shine on the left side of Rodgers’ defence.
West Ham are in desperate need of cover for Aaron Cresswell, as summer signing Arthur Masuaku struggles to return from a knee injury.
Football Insider verdict:
Bringing in Kaldirim would vastly boost Celtic’s inexperienced squad. Providing a lethal delivery from set pieces, Fener’s left footer could be signed in a bargain deal that would suit Rodgers’ limited transfer funds, as he is likely to be available on the cheap with his contract nearing its end. With 25 appearances in both the Europa League and Champions League, including qualifiers, Kaldirim would offer experience in continental competition. The signing of Kaldirim would spell the end for Honduras’ international Emilio Izaguirre, who is currently second choice to academy product Tierney. They must move quickly, though, to fend off interest from West Ham.
In other Celtic transfer news, the agent of this African Cup of Nations star has revealed that Rodgers wants to sign his client.