Celtic to offer Black Cat another life north of the border


Celtic have identified Sunderland’s record signing as a transfer target this summer, as Steven Fletcher enters the final year of a contract which is highly unlikely to be renewed.

The Premier League club parted with a reported £14m, £12m of which was up front, to land Fletcher from Wolves in August 2012, but could now sell him for as little as £2m according to the Newcastle Chronicle.

The Scotland international striker has endured a tough time of it on Wearside, where Mackems have been left scratching their heads as to the sum outlaid on the centre-forward.

His three-year stay has been badly blighted by injuries, but a return of just 19 goals in 78 top-flight appearances is on the leaner side to put it mildy.

Still, as the 26-year-old former Hibernian striker displayed earlier in his career, when fit and given a run in the team for an extended period, his returns have been far more respectable, if not prolific.

Fletcher notched 12 goals in 32 Premier League appearances for Wolves before heading to the north east for instance.

Scottish champions Celtic will be hoping they can coax some of his poaching instincts back out should the player decide on a Parkhead switch.

One major obstacle in the road however is wages. As the Chronicle report, the SPL club’s pay structure will mean Fletcher’s current wedge of around £40k per week would have to be slashed by around half.

Sunderland reportedly have an eye on Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk too, so the Dutchman could yet move in some sort of swap deal if the clubs agreed.

It also remains to be seen whether any other English clubs will be willing to take a gamble on a player who in theory still has plenty of optimum years ahead of him.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.