Exclusive: £2m-valued striker reveals Celtic call, ex-defender raves: 'Excellent player'
Alan Hutton suggests that Celtic could look to sign Charlie Austin this summer after the West Brom striker revealed his interest in Glasgow switch.
The former Rangers defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists that the Baggies’ forward would be a great option to have at Parkhead if their striker situation changes.
As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, West Brom are willing to let the 30-year-old for in the region of £2million if they get promoted back to the Premier League this season.
The former QPR hitman has revealed his desire to play for one of the Glasgow giants before he hangs up his boots, explaining how he excited he was after being on Neil Lennon’s target list in the past.
Hutton believes that Celtic could look at giving Austin the chance to prove himself in Scotland should Edouard or Leigh Griffiths depart Parkhead.
Hutton told Football Insider: “I think he’s an excellent player, I’ve played against him many times and he’s really good at what he does.
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“Whether it’ll depend on Edouard leaves or if the striker situation at Celtic, it could be an option. It’s definitely one that’s not going to break the bank so it could be an option.
“Whether he would come up and be a regular starter, I’m not so sure but I think as an option in your squad, he’d definitely be good to have. He’s got great experience, played at high levels and scored goals.
“I don’t think you can ever turn your nose up at a player like that. I do see it being an option for Lennon.”
Asked if he ever had any opportunities to play up north, Austin told Open Goal’s Keeping the Ball on the Ground podcast: “Celtic when I was at Burnley.
“I remember coming into training and Neil Lennon did an interview on Sky Sports saying ‘he’s someone that we’re looking at’.
“I was on the phone to my agent saying, ‘look is this going to happen?’
“It’s something that I would have done. At the time, it was just me, my missus and my one child and I said, ‘let’s go’.
“But nothing ever materialised after that and nothing has since.”
Austin, who joined West Brom last summer, has nine goals in 30 appearances for the Baggies but has not been a regular starter under Slaven Bilic.
Edouard meanwhile has netted 27 times in his 45 games across all competitions, chipping in with a further 19 assists.
In other Celtic news, the Hoops have been tipped to fund a big-name signing by selling a senior star this summer.