By Danny Wright

Ajax Cape Town technical director Mich d’Avray has confirmed that Celtic had deployed their scouts to keep tabs on defender Rivaldo Coetzee earlier this summer.

South African news outlet IOL claims that Coetzee, 20, went AWOL from Ajax CT’s pre-season training after a number of offers were rebuffed for him.

However, although d’Avray has made it clear that there has been no bid made from the Hoops at this stage, he suggested that the South African club will not block his exit if a potential transfer materialises.

“Yes, we are aware of the interest from Celtic. The club is still waiting for the official offer. I can also confirm that they did send a scout to watch Rivaldo,” the Ajax CT director said to IOL.

“We don’t intend to stand in his way. If the offer is presented on the table, I have no doubt that the club will listen to it. At the moment, there is no concrete offer that I know of.”

Coetzee’s agent Mike Makaab of ProSport International also confirmed that Celtic’s recruitment experts had jetted out on a transfer mission to cast their rule over the South Africa international defender.

“Yes, there is interest from Celtic. Last week they sent a scout to monitor him in a friendly match in Cape Town. I can’t say more than that,” Makaab said.

Celtic aren’t the only team said to be in pursuit of the centre-back with IOL claiming that Danish giants Brondby, and KV Oostende of Belgium are also interested.

Koeztee, a 16-times South Africa international, is also the target of some of Ajax CT’s domestic rivals with Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in the hunt for his signature.

Football Insider Verdict

Brendan Rodgers definitely needs to add another centre-back to his squad and Coeztee looks like he could be a decent squad player. The Ajax CT ace already has plenty of top level experience in South Africa and is a regular international, meaning that he is perhaps beyond his age in terms of knowledge and understanding of the game. However a raid of the South African league does come with some risks. It’s unlikely that it’s anywhere near the standard of the Scottish Premiership or the Champions League, which is where Coetzee could be playing in the near future. Either way, with Erik Sviatchenko and Dedryck Boyata injured, the Hoops are desperate for another centre-back.

In other Celtic news, the Bhoys are ready to raid one of Europe’s title-winning sides for this versatile defender who is also a full international for a prestigious nation.

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