By Alan Hutton

7th Jul, 2020 | 4:00pm

Exclusive: Pundit claims Forster given strict new deadline to agree Celtic move

Alan Hutton believes Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster will be given a week to make a decision over whether he wants to join Celtic next season.

The former Rangers and Scotland full-back, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admits he understands why the 32-year-old may be reluctant to commit to a loan deal after his spell at Parkhead last term.

Speaking to Sky Sports, manager Neil Lennon revealed that a loan deal had been agreed between Celtic and Southampton but that things have “gone quiet from the player’s side”.

The shot-stopper was a mainstay for the Hoops last season, helping them win both the Scottish League Cup and the Premiership title.

Having seen Lennon admit he would “dearly love” to have the Southampton keeper at Parkhead next season, Hutton believes the Glasgow giants will have set a deadline before they move on.

“I understand from the player’s point of view, I’ve been in the situation myself where the player wants to go on loan but you want your future settled as soon as possible,” Hutton told Football Insider.

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“The deal obviously is a loan with a view to a permanent next season, it maybe saves the money issue a little bit for Celtic but I can totally understand Forster’s argument that he wants everything tied down and he wants to concentrate on his football.

“It’s difficult but he’s going to have to make a hard decision, I know Celtic will need a keeper in as soon as possible and I can’t imagine they’re going to wait too long. They’ll move on quickly.

“He’ll have to make a decision or they’ll move on, they’ll just get someone else in. There’s other targets they’re looking at. Lennon has not hid it, he’s desperate for him to come back. The deal’s there to be done, it’s just on the player, the ball’s in his court.

“I get that he wants to sort out his future long term but if he wants to be involved in a Celtic team that’s going for a record he’s going to have to make a decision now. It’s like every other team, you’ve got your A, your B and your C waiting. They’ll probably give him a week and then move on.” 

In other Celtic news, Noel Whelan has been left blown away as Leeds United reportedly set their sights on signing a Hoops ace.

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