Celtic have not given up hope of signing Fraser Forster on loan but have begun sounding out alternatives for the No1 role next season, Football Insider understands.
A permanent deal for the goalkeeper this summer is all but dead in the water due to his Southampton salary, which, as revealed by Football Insider on Monday is worth £5million a year, equivalent to just shy of £100,000-a-week.
Celtic sources have said the club have discussed a multi-million loan deal with Southampton but are working on a shortlist of back-up goalkeepers and two of the names on that are England international Joe Hart and Vaclav Hladky.
The experienced duo are available as free agents after their contracts expired at Burnley and St Mirren respectively.
Nevertheless, Neil Lennon’s first choice is to re-sign Forster for the historic tilt at 10-in-a-row.
Discussions have been held with the 6ft 7in giant as well as Southampton, where he was the third choice keeper before his loan to Celtic last August.
But neither Angus Gunn or the incumbent Alex McCarthy have nailed down the No1 role this season and that has opened the door to Forster.
The 32-year-old has two years remaining on his Southampton deal and also has interest from other Premier League clubs.
Celtic are willing to pay a major contribution towards Forster’s wages for next season, with the Saints paying the rest.
There would also be multi-million pound loan fee.
Forster was one of Celtic’s outstanding players last season as they secured a ninth consecutive title as well as the Scottish League Cup.
In other Celtic news, the club have been tipped by insider to sign McGregor’s pal.
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