COMMENT By Will Butcher
Celtic would significantly improve their chances of going one better and qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages if they signed West Brom’s Darren Fletcher.
Midfielder Fletcher told the Express & Star that he is relaxed about his contract situation – despite his current deal expiring in the summer – after triggering an appearance clause in January which gives him the option of a year’s extension.
But with Celtic planning on a Champions League campaign under Brendan Rodgers next season, Fletcher’s head could be turned if the Hoops come calling for the 33-year-old.
The Hoops are in desperate need of a central midfielder, with Rodgers yet to find a permanent partner for captain Scott Brown in the middle of the park.
Stuart Armstrong is preferred in a more attacking role, while Nir Bitton has struggled since Rodgers took over. Kouassi Eboue has yet to have an impact since signing.
Callum McGregor staked his claim on Sunday by scoring against Old Firm rivals Rangers, but he is yet to provide the consistency required to partner Scotland star Brown.
Bringing Fletcher to Parkhead would see him partner Scotland teammate Brown, with the duo playing together on many separate occasions for their national side.
Former Manchester United star Fletcher is also said to be a huge Celtic fan after supporting the 48-time champions since his childhood, and that could bring the best out of him.
Additionally, Fletcher’s experience would see him become the perfect tutor to academy product McGregor, who has shown the potential to become an integral member of the squad.
If Fletcher does not put pen to paper on his one-year extension, then his current deal will expire in just over two months’ time and the Hoops could potentially bag one of the bargains of the summer.
In other Celtic transfer news, here are three reasons why the Bhoys should move for this 18-year-old goal machine.