Why Celtic need not prioritise a move for Filip Uremovic
According to the Daily Record, Rubin Kazan sporting director Oleg Yarovinsky has revealed that Celtic were one of the clubs to have made an enquiry regarding the availability of centre-back Filip Uremovic.
As per the report, the Hoops had been tracking the Croatian international last summer before they eventually ended up signing Christopher Jullien from Toulouse. Celtic renewed their interest in Uremovic earlier this summer but nothing came to fruition, with Neil Lennon roping in Irish international Shane Duffy on loan from Brighton.
It has also been reported that Rubin Kazan are not willing to sanction a departure for the 23-year-old in the ongoing transfer window, thus shutting the door for Celtic to come back with another offer for the defender before the deadline.
Filip Uremovic started his youth career with hometown club Papuk Velika before turning professional with Cibalia in the Croatian top-flight. The centre-back was snapped up by domestic giants Dinamo Zagreb in 2016 but he largely featured for their reserve side.
The 23-year-old eventually joined Olimpija Ljubljana, where he won the Slovenian top-flight title and the domestic cup before earning a move to Rubin Kazan in Russia. Uremovic has since established himself as a regular fixture at the back for the Russian Premier League outfit, registering 58 appearances, and currently serves as the captain of the club.
Uremovic featured 9 times for Croatia at the U-21 level and recently made his senior international debut in a 4-2 defeat against France in the UEFA Nations League.
Celtic don’t need more cover in central defence
From a reject at Dinamo Zagreb to a club captain at Rubin Kazan and a Croatian international, Filip Uremovic has enjoyed an impressive rise in his career. The central defender has been tipped for a bright future in the game and still has his best years ahead of him.
That being said, however, Celtic already have cover at the back following the capture of Shane Duffy on loan from Brighton earlier in the transfer window. The Irishman made a telling debut impact with a headed goal in the Hoops’ 5-0 rout of Ross County.
The arrival of Duffy has certainly filled the void left by the release of Jozo Simunovic. As things stand, Celtic currently have four senior central defenders in Christopher Jullien, Kristoffer Ajer, Hatem Abd Elhamed, and Duffy, which is certainly more than enough.
Plus, of course, Lennon has the luxury of calling upon the services of experienced utility man Nir Bitton to do a job at the heart of the defence whenever he opts to rotate his squad and give the regular players a breather.
It’s clear from the above discussion that Celtic currently have enough competition for places in central defence. A potential deal for Filip Uremovic would only lead to unwanted selection dilemmas.
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Ajer’s future at Parkhead has been the subject of widespread speculation amid interest from several Premier League clubs and AC Milan but nobody has shown the audacity to match Celtic’s £20million valuation of the defender just yet. (The Athletic h/t Scottish Sun)
To that end, Celtic should continue to monitor Uremovic as a future target should they end up losing Ajer anytime soon. But it’s not something that they need to think too hard about amid pressing concerns in other areas of the squad, especially in the wide attacking department.