By support

31st Aug, 2016 | 4:08pm

Guillem Balague: Premier League playmaker was on Celtic shortlist

By Will Butcher

Reliable journalist Guillem Balague has claimed Celtic were one of six clubs interested in signing Stoke playmaker Bojan Krkic this summer.

The 26-year-old ex-Barcelona ace on Brendan Rodgers’ shortlist as the Parkhead boss attempts to bring in players with Champions League experience.

Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague revealed via his personal Twitter account that Celtic were rivalling two Chinese clubs, and three Spanish clubs for the attacking midfielder.

Real Sociedad, Celta Vigo and Valencia were all interested in signing the one-time Spain international, while Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai Greenland were keen to bring Bojan to China in a big-money move.

Stoke’s number 27 initially failed to hit the heights that his potential had promised after graduating through the highly esteemed La Masia youth system at Barcelona.

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But he has became a key player at Stoke and scored seven goals in 31 league and cup appearances last season, forming part of a fluid front three that included Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri.

The former Ajax player signed for the Potters in 2014 from Barcelona after the creative midfielder had re-signed for the La Liga Champions.

The Hoops have already made five signings this season, bringing in teenagers Moussa Dembele and Kritoffer Ajer, while experienced duo Dorus de Vries and Kolo Toure have signed on free transfers. Aston Villa’s Scott Sinclair has hit the ground running following his move, finding the back of the net four times already.

In other Celtic transfer news, this former defender could be set to sign for Championship side Blackburn.