Senior Celtic stars were shocked Fraser Forster knocked back a summer move from Southampton after new loan terms were agreed, Football Insider has been told.
The Hoops are working on a fresh swoop for the giant goalkeeper this month but their hopes of sealing a deal have been hit by a new development.
Southampton number one Alex McCarthy will miss Monday night’s Premier League clash against Liverpool after testing positive for Covid-19.
That opens the door for the 31-year-old’s deputy Forster to make his first appearance of the season for the Saints after being an unused sub for their previous 16 Premier League matches.
It also leaves Celtic’s hopes of enticing Forster this month once again up in the air.
As revealed by Football Insider last month, the board will provide the funds to Neil Lennon to try and lure Forster on a new loan deal.
It remains to be seen if Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl will let him go, or if the player himself can be convinced.
Lennon tried to re-sign the former England international in the summer window after his outstanding 2019-20 campaign on loan.
A season-long deal was in place, and the finances had been agreed between the clubs, but Forster was reluctant to commit as he felt he could regain the number one spot at St Mary’s.
That surprised senior Celtic players, who felt the Englishman would be desperate for the tilt at 10-in-a-row that has fallen flat so badly.
The Scottish champions’ hopes of luring Foster this month rest on Southampton and the player, and possibly how he fares while McCarthy is self-isolating.
There are plenty of hurdles to overcome as Hasenhuttl wants top-quality cover and competition for McCarthy after allowing Angus Gunn to join Stoke City on loan in October.
McCarthy, 31, has started all 16 of the Saints’ Premier League matches this season as well as their one League Cup tie.