Celtic could lose duo to Championship and Premier League


Ronny Deila had best enjoy the final few weeks of Celtic’s season, because the Hoops boss could be forced into a major overhaul of his squad this summer.

The Norwegian manager endured a difficult start to life at Celtic Park but soon found his feet, with the Glasgow giants capturing a Scottish League Cup and Scottish Premiership double this term.

Any joy could be short-lived however, with two of the Bhoys key performers potentially heading south of the border to England in the coming months.

Jason Denayer has impressed throughout his time at Celtic Park, having arrived at the club from Manchester City on loan.

A highly-rated 19-year-old defender, the Belgian captured the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year Award after featuring for the Hoops on 40 occasions this season.

Called up by Belgium during his time in Scotland, Denayer has proven himself to not only be a competent defender, but also one capable of weighing in with a goal or two, having found the net six times this term.

But Celtic fans are unlikely to see the stopper starring again next term, with Manchester City reportedly keen for the defender to spend a season in the Championship.

It’s part of a three-year plan put in place by the Sky Blues that could see Denayer featuring for the City first-team by the time the 2016/17 season begins.

Stefan Johansen is another Celtic star being linked with a move away from the club meanwhile, having captured the PFA Scotland Player of the Year Award this season.

The 24-year-old took time to adapt to the demands of the Scottish top-flight, having arrived at the club back in January 2014 from Stromsgodset.

But Johansen has come into his own under Deila, scoring 12 goals in 53 outings for Celtic this term.

And while the Norwegian has impressed in the Scottish Premiership, it’s his endeavours in Europe that could prove the most crucial when discussing his future.

While the Hoops failed to make much in the way of an impact in Europe, Johansen has shone, scoring three goals in continental competition.

Little wonder then that the attacker has been the subject of interest from both the Premier League and Bundesliga.

Celtic may have more control over the future of the 24-year-old but with both the player and club likely to struggle to turn down any substantial offer from an English top-flight side, a move could be in the offing.

The likes of Victor Wanyama and Fraser Forster both thrived after moving south of the border and with others like Virgil Van Dijk consistently linked to several Premier League sides, major changes could be afoot.

Deila had best cancel any holiday plans.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.