COMMENT By Will Butcher
Celtic are likely to move for a new right-back in the summer as Cristian Gamboa struggles to impress following his move from West Brom.
The Costa Rica international’s form has seen manager Brendan Rodgers opt to use Mikael Lustig on the right side of defence, who would be better used in the heart of the Bhoys’ defence.
With Rodgers set to bolster his side in the transfer market as he looks to maintain the Hoops’ domination in Scotland, here are three out-of-contract right-backs that could be snapped up.
The Aston Villa defender has plenty of experience at top-flight level, after spells with Tottenham, Mallorca and even Old Firm rivals Rangers. The 32-year-old, though, could be set to leave the Midlands outfit in the summer after manager Steve Bruce signed youngster James Bree from Barnsley. Rodgers could snap up the 50-time Scotland international, as he looks to give youngsters Kieran Tierney, Moussa Dembele and Kouassi Eboue an experienced head to learn from. 64 appearances in the Scottish Premiership could see Hutton prove to be a shrewd purchase.
Also in the last six months of his contract, England international Johnson has experience from working under Hoops boss Rodgers from his time at Merseyside giants Liverpool. That connection will allow Johnson to hit the ground running should he move to Glasgow from current club Stoke City, as he will be fully aware of what Rodgers will expect from him. His time with the likes of West Ham, Chelsea, Portsmouth and Liverpool in the Premier League would be a huge coup for 47-time Scottish champions.
Slightly more unlikely, Southampton right-back Cuco Martina would offer an attacking threat from right-back if he was brought to Scotland. However, the 27-year-old defender is set to leave St. Mary’s Stadium after Saints boss Claude Puel signed free agent Martin Caceres, who provides cover on the right side of defence for Euro 2016 winner Cedric. Martina will be best rememebered for his wonderful curling effort against Arsenal on Boxing Day 2015.
In other Celtic transfer news, here are three reasons why the Hoops should sign this 42-time international.