By Alan Hutton

17th Nov, 2020 | 8:00pm

Pundit Exclusive: Celtic expected to seal 'Big-name' signing in Jan to replace 26-yr-old

Alan Hutton has tipped Celtic to make a “big-name” signing if Vasilas Barkas fails to prove himself before the January transfer window.

The former Rangers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has claimed the Bhoys cannot afford to give the 26-year-old time to bed in as they chase their 10th successive Premiership title.

The Greek international cost Celtic a fee which could rise to a reported £5.5million from AEK Athens this summer but he has failed to establish himself as Neil Lennon’s first-choice shot-stopper.

Barkas, who started nine successive Premiership matches, has been replaced by Scott Bain between the sticks for the last four games across all competitions.

Hutton has insisted Celtic cannot afford to bide their time with an inconsistent goalkeeper and suggested there will be a new signing through in January if the summer arrival cannot up his game.

Hutton told Football Insider: I think it’s a difficult one, for this season, because there’s so much pressure on it, this season’s everything for Celtic and Rangers.

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“They can’t wait, it’s as simple as that, you can’t give somebody a season, let’s just see how they do and the proof is in the pudding, if you want – he’s been dropped for Bain to come back in.

“It kind of tells you where he’s at at the moment. Obviously, I don’t like to judge people too quickly, he’s come into a new country he’s had to settle in, he’s had a couple of up and down performances and they’ve changed around.

“It’s up to him to go and prove everybody wrong, prove that he is capable of dealing with these big situations and big pressure games so the ball’s in his court.

“If it doesn’t step up to the plate and soon, I presume in January they will be looking to bring someone in and probably a big name.”

In other Celtic news: ‘I thought his legs had gone’ – McLeish lauds Hoops star after £3.6million bid.