Alex McLeish has claimed Vasilis Barkas may be feeling “homesick” at Celtic amid links back to Greece.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 26-year-old shot-stopper could follow former Bhoy Hatem Abd Elhamed in returning to his homeland.

As reported by Greek publication Sportime, AEK Athens have made contact with Celtic over a potential loan deal for their former star.

Celtic

Celtic spent a reported £5.2million (€6million) to sign Barkas from AEK last summer.

However, he endured a tough start to life in Glasgow and has since plummeted down the pecking order.

He has made just four league appearances since October, the last of which came 14 games ago.

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McLeish admitted it was often tough for foreign players to settle when they are not playing as much as they deserve.

As such, he suggested the goalkeeper may be pining for a return home for regular game time.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “He must be in a bit of a quandary. I would think that he would be a wee bit homesick.

“When you’re not, when players are not getting their full quota of what they believe they should, there tends to be a kind of a view of homesickness.

“I think, one of the other Celtic players went back to Israel, Elhamed. There was kind of an emotional tug for him to go back.

“Barkas could be the same. He could be in the same bracket.”

Elhamed, who returned to former side Hapoel Be’er Sheva in January, revealed he had struggled to settle in Glasgow without his family.

Meanwhile, Barkas has played just 20 times for Celtic across all competitions this season.

In other news, the door has swung open for Celtic to land Eddie Howe after developments in England.