Stuart Armstrong signed for Southampton yesterday in a deal worth a reported £7m. His arrival could sanction the departure of Serbian Dusan Tadic who is set to join Ajax.
However, rumours in Glasgow believe Saints aren’t finished raiding the Scottish champions. With the reported fee for Tadic being £18m from Ajax, Southampton aim to allocate some of that income to Celtic’s defensive midfielder Nir Bitton.
The Israel international has made over 100 appearances in his five years at Celtic Park and was a prominent figure in Celtic’s treble winning 17/18 side. Saints are rumoured to be interested in the 6ft 5 holding midfielder as interest hots up in Mario Lemina. Mark Hughes clearly believes Bitton’s stature and poise represents a sufficient replacement if the Gabonese playmaker moves.
Southampton has been successful in the past with their acquisitions from Celtic. Van Dijk, Wanyama and Forster have all made the jump with effective outcomes. Former players and pundits have suggested Celtic is Southampton’s feeder club as Armstrong is the latest to follow suit.
“Southampton seems a really good fit for me,” Armstrong told the club’s website.
“Watching from afar, I really enjoy the attractive football that they play and I’m very happy to be here.”
With Stuart Armstrong signing for the Saints, Nir Bitton could become the fifth Celtic player in as many years to move to the Premier League side.
It seems Brendan Rodgers is set to face another summer of upheaval with many big European sides interested in his players.
Moussa Dembele remains hot property amongst Europe’s elite while Tom Rogic and Dedrykc Boyata’s impressive displays at the World Cup will attract suitors.
Rodgers may have brought in Odsonne Edouard for £9m and secured Scott Bain on a permanent deal, but is it enough to cover the outgoing stars this summer?
“Like always, there are a few areas that we want to be better in and improve,” Rodgers told CelticTV.
“It’s never easy because the team we have is developing very well and I like to develop our own players.”
The Northern Irishman will be thankful Tom Rogic signed a new 5-year deal in May while Norwegian defender Kristoffer Ajer penned a 4-year extension keeping him at Celtic Park until 2022.