EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic has emerged as a top target for Italian giants Lazio during this month’s transfer window, Football Insider sources understand.
Simunovic’s future at Celtic has been the subject of speculation since the transfer window opened with several Premier League clubs, including Crystal Palace and Burnley credited with an interest in the Bosnian.
The 23-year-old has dropped down the pecking order in Brendan Rodgers’ plans in recent weeks and he has not featured since the shock 4-0 defeat to Hearts last month.
Kristoffer Ajer has taken Simunovic’s spot in the starting line-up in recent weeks and the recent arrival of Marvin Compper from RB Leipzig has increased competition for places at Parkhead.
The former of Ajer means Simunovic could find it hard to break back into Rodgers’ plans and he could consider a move away in January.
A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Lazio have been alerted to Simunovic’s possible availability this month as they are in the market for defensive reinforcements as doubts continue to surround the future of Stefan de Vrij with the Dutch defender out of contract this summer.
It remains to be seen if Celtic would consider selling Simunovic this month as they are still competing in Europe with a Europa League clash with Zenit St Petersburg to come in February.