Celtic are planning to everything they can to try and sign Fraser Forster permanently this summer, Football Insider understands.
Manager Neil Lennon and recruitment chief Nicky Hammond are agreed that converting Forster’s loan into a full-time transfer is one of their priorities.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that club chiefs will pull out all stops to find the funds for Forster but they are likely to have to sell before they can buy.
One exit set to bring in some cash is the £1.3million move of Eboue Kouassi to Belgian club Genk.
Much will also depend upon the Odsonne Edouard situation and whether Celtic can stop him leaving this summer.
Given Forster’s likely cost of around £10m, Celtic are likely to have to wait until later in the summer before any deal can be done.
However, Parkhead chiefs have been given encouragement Southampton may offload Forster as they are likely to need to cash in on some stars due to football’s changed economics caused by Covid-19.
Forster, 32, had not been in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans and slipped to third in the keeper pecking order at the Saints before his loan to Celtic began last August.
However, the 6ft 7in goalkeeper’s reputation has soared as a result of an outstanding campaign in which he was integral to the team being crowned champions earlier this week.
Crucially, he is unlikely to want to stay at St Mary’s Stadium unless he is the number one, a position that had been held held by Alex McCarthy, 30.
The Premier League club have high hopes for Angus Gunn, 23, who was first choice earlier in the season before losing his place.
Forster has made 39 appearances for the Hoops since his return, keeping 17 clean sheets and conceding just 28 goals.
His grip on the number one jersey had been iron-tight despite the return to fitness of Scott Bain, and the presence of triple treble winner Craig Gordon.