Celtic have been handed a major boost in their bid to re-sign Fraser Forster from Southampton.
The Premier League club announced today that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has signed a new four-year contract.
Forster had plummeted to third in the goalkeeper pecking order under Hasenhuttl at St Mary’s Stadium before he rejoined the Hoops on loan last August.
#SaintsFC is delighted to announce that Ralph Hasenhüttl has signed a new four-year contract at St Mary’s! 😇
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) June 2, 2020
The manager has strengthened his power base with the new deal following the transformation in fortunes of the team in the months leading up to the mid-March lockdown.
It also increases the likelihood that Forster will leave Southampton permanently or on loan in the next transfer window.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that club chiefs will pull out all stops to re-sign Forster although his Saints salary is a major stumbling block to a permanent deal.
He is unlikely to want to stay at St Mary’s Stadium unless he is the number one, a position that had been held held by Alex McCarthy, 30 before the lockdown.
The Premier League club also have high hopes for Angus Gunn, 23, who was first choice earlier in the season before losing his place.
Forster, 32, had not been in Hasenhuttl’s plans before he reignited his career with his loan move to Celtic.
The giant goalkeeper has played some of the best football of his career in his second spell at Parkhead.
He was integral to their successful title defence and delivered one of the outstanding individual displays of the season in last December’s Scottish League Cup win against Rangers.
In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that a senior star is to be offered a double-your-money contract.