By Danny Wright
Celtic are poised to complete the signing of Ajax Cape Town defender Rivaldo Coetzee, according to a report.
South African news outlet Sport24 claims that Coetzee, 20, is due to travel to Scotland this week to complete his transfer to the Hoops and the announcement of his arrival will be made within days.
It is said that the centre-back is regarded as one of South Africa’s best defensive prospects since Lucas Radebe and that he is likely to be included in Brendan Rodgers’ Champions League squad for the group stages, barring an unexpected result in Kazakhstan this week.
Coetzee, who has 16 international caps for South Africa, could be seen as a back-up option in the centre of defence following injuries to Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko.
Kieran Tierney, Nir Bitton and Kristoffer Ajer have all been drafted in to fill the void in the backline in recent weeks, however Celtic have never really looked like losing their unbeaten run in domestic competition.
Ajax Cape Town technical director Mich d’Avray has previously confirmed that Coeztee is on Celtic’s radar and the centre-back’s agent Mike Makaab has also confessed that the Scots deployed their scouts to keep close tabs on him.
Football Insider Verdict
Coetzee would be a neat addition to the Hoops side but Rodgers’ men have already been performing admirably with just one fit first-team centre-back in recent weeks. It seems that the swoop for the South Africa star is mainly to add depth to the Champions League squad, because the Bhoys could arguably romp to another league title by playing a similar backline to what they did against Kilmarnock on Saturday. Coetzee might also be cheap for the Hoops as he is on his way from Ajax CT. He could represent a good investment for the future if he is sold on for a higher fee. Time will tell if the centre-back can make it in what is perhaps one of the biggest clubs in the UK.
In other Celtic news, Barcelona legend Xavi has made a bold claim about the Bhoys’ chances of European success.