COMMENT By Will Butcher
Celtic should attempt to lure West Brom midfielder Darren Fletcher to Parkhead after a wonderful season with the Baggies.
The 33-year-old has starred for Tony Pulis’ side in the middle of the park this season, as he continues to inspire the Midlands outfit as captain.
With Celtic looking for Champions League expertise as they look to go one better and progress into the knockout stages in 2017-18, here is why Fletcher would be a top signing.
Sky Sports claim the former Manchester United midfielder is a boyhood fan of the 47-time Scottish champions, after growing up in Midlothian. The Hoops currently have plenty of international stars in their side, including the likes of Moussa Dembele, Mikael Lustig and Erik Sviatchenko, and that lack of homegrown talent could mean that the desire to beat rivals such as Rangers is lost on them. Bringing in a player like Fletcher, who has grown up being surrounded by the intense rivalry between Rangers and Celtic, could prove crucial in keeping the Gers at bay as Celtic’s rivals look to knock them off their perch.
Out of contract
Despite his impressive performances for West Brom this season, Fletcher is yet to be handed a new deal by Pulis’ side and his current contract is set to expire in the summer. Celtic are allowed to approach Fletcher under the Bosman ruling with a view to a free transfer at any point from now until his current deal finishes, as they are considered a foreign club. Bringing a player with Fletcher’s experience at the top level and in the Champions League could be crucial for Celtic, which would also allow them to spend money elsewhere.
Relationship with Broony
Playing together in the middle of the park for Scotland, Fletcher and Hoops captain Scott Brown have already got plenty of experience as each other’s midfield partners and would not need any time in forming that midfield pairing once again. That connection in the centre of the pitch could inspire Celtic, with the position of Brown’s midfield partner still up for grabs. Nir Bitton has tried and failed, with his form remaining inconsistent, while Stuart Armstrong continues his battles with injury. Fletcher could be brought in to solve that problem.
In other Celtic transfer news, the agent of this in-form Bhoys ace has revealed that he plans to remain at Celtic Park for three years.