Noel Whelan has claimed Celtic are facing a losing battle to re-sign Fraser Forster after new detail emerged about the cost of the deal.
The former Leeds and Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, suggests the Hoops may lose out to a Premier League side as they struggle to negotiate a deal for the 32-year-old.
As revealed by Football Insider, a permanent deal for Forster is all but dead in the water as a result of his near-£100,000-a-week wages, with the Hoops sounding out alternative options this summer.
Whelan believes another loan deal is the only way Celtic will be able to bring the colossal shot-stopper back to Parkhead but believes their plans may be scuppered by an English top-flight side.
Whelan told Football Insider: “They’ve lost Gordon as well so they desperately need a goalkeeper and when you look at size of the club, I mean Forster was excellent last season, he was immense.
“In my opinion, he was probably knocking on the door of an England call-up again – very, very disappointing if they can’t get him. They can’t afford him though, he’s one of their top earners at Southampton.
“The loan deal works for Celtic, it won’t work for a player, they don’t mind going out on loan for a season or two but they want stability as well, that’s the problem.
“They can’t afford to buy him and the wages so it mean if he’s not willing to go on loan again then Southampton and the player will want a permanent deal.
“It seems to me that Celtic will only go for the loan and quite frankly I think there will be Premier League sides out there who will pay the money.”
Forster played 39 times for Celtic during his season-long loan back in Glasgow and helped the club win both the Scottish League Cup and Premiership title.
He has made just one Premier League appearance since December 2017, having fallen down the pecking order on the south coast.
PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.