After selling off spine, where is the transplant?

Posted by Andy Muirhead

David Ramos/Getty ImagesSelling goalkeeper Fraser Forster may be good business for Celtic, but they need good signings to offset the loss.

We knew it would happen -- no one was really surprised the Celtic board sold off some of the club's top players as the likes of Gary Hooper, Victor Wanyama and Kelvin Wilson moved south. Now it seems that Benfica are targeting keeper Fraser Forster following his performances in the Champions League last season, with the Parkhead side reportedly placing a 10-million-euro pricetag on the English shot-stopper.

If Forster does make the move to Portugal, then the spine of last season's team will have been sold off for just under 30 million pounds. Great business for a Scottish club selling four of their best players, but with little under three weeks remaining until the transfer window slams shut, the club is nowhere near bringing in a new spine of quality signings.

Celtic are reportedly chasing after Heerenveen striker Alfred Finnbogason, but at a price of 5 million pounds for the Icelandic international and competition from German side FC Augsburg, Celtic could miss out on the highly rated player. A result that could see far more repercussions for the club than the Steven Fletcher issue if they fail to sign him. In my opinion, I doubt Celtic will bid £5 million for the striker -- can you remember the last time Celtic paid that much for a player?

But a bigger issue for the club would be their failure to strengthen their side, which is lacking a credible spine ahead of their Champions League tie against Kazakhstan side Shakhter Karagandy (first leg away next Tuesday, second at Celtic Park Aug. 28). If they fail to progress, then they would lose out on around £20 million in TV revenue not including ticket sales. It may be a ploy by Celtic’s board to hold off on spending big until they secure European qualification, but it is a risky policy and one that the fans would certainly not be lauding.

If Forster goes, not only will Celtic need a new goalkeeper, they will also need a central defender, midfielder and a striker to bolster their chances of doing well in the group stages of the Champions League once more. Celtic need to freshen things up as they have looked stale so far this season and above all lacking creativity and a killer instinct in the final third.

Repercussions from not strengthening will in all likelihood lead to fans doing their talking with their absence from games this season, while growing discontent will be heard from the stands throughout the season.

Has the Celtic biscuit tin returned?

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