Five quality goalkeepers who could be on the move this summer


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The rumour mill is cranking into top gear as the summer transfer window opens. Here’s a look at five goalkeepers who could (and in some cases possibly should) be on the move in coming weeks.

Hugo Lloris (Lyon)

The stories about Lloris’s imminent departure from the Stade Gerland rival the ‘Cesc Fabregas to anywhere’ rumours in terms of tedium and frequency. Every summer the talk is this will be the one where he finally leaves. Tottenham have been linked, but with Brad Friedel still looking youthful and spritely, is it necessary? Immensely talented and clearly capable at the highest level, Lloris would be a great acquisition. But a lack of vacancies at Europe’s elite clubs suggests he might stay put. Aside from a couple of the Italian giants, very few of Europe’s top dogs are looking for an upgrade. Another season on the banks of the Rhone may be required until the right job comes along.

Johannes Hopf (Hammarby)

A new season is underway in Sweden and once again Hopf continues to impress. He was immense in ensuring Hammarby didn’t endure the indignity of going down to the third tier of Swedish football and has brought that form into the club’s improved form of the new campaign.

His agility, handling and leadership mark him out as a goalkeeper who can succeed at a higher level. He has the build and composure to prosper in the English game and it has clearly been noticed by the scout. Three Premier League teams and a host of top Championship sides were close to making a move last summer and after a strong finish to last year’s Superettan and brilliant start to this campaign, that enthusiasm is only likely to have swelled. Celtic and Hoffenheim have also been tracking the 25 year old and a move abroad must surely be imminent.

Ben Foster (Birmingham)

It was meant to be simple. If West Brom where to stay up and Birmingham failed to get promotion, Foster was supposed to stay at the Hawthorns by making his loan move permanent. The Blues unintentionally kept their end of the bargain, but the departure of Roy Hodgson has complicated matters. The 2011/12 season was a campaign of blissful simplicity and safety for the Baggies, but without Uncle Roy, next season will lack the same comfort. Birmingham may want to take him back, but with the up and coming Jack Butland within their ranks, they may also be tempted to cash in.

Last season was a good one for Foster. So much so that there was hope he would again make himself available for international selection again. It hasn’t happened yet, but he may be of interest to teams further up the Premier League food chain. He looks a more composed and reliable keeper in recent times. Combined with his excellent reactions, he has a lot to offer. The likes of Old Trafford may not come calling, but another big club may be tempted to swoop.

Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio)

Ochoa’s move to the Corsican club was a curious one, but after an excellent season, it now looks a shrewd one. The Mexican was aware of the need to rebuild his stock after his part in a banned substance fiasco at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He and his fellow suspects were cleared of wrong-doing, but possibly aware of the ‘no smoke without fire’ attitude to drug rumours, packed his bags to start afresh in Ligue 1. He openly spoke about Ajaccio being a stepping stone to bigger and better things and the gamble seems to have worked. He looks to have achieved his aims and after playing a vital role in keeping the club in Ligue 1, he is attracting interest. His reactions and agility are absolutely world-class and have surely been noticed by clubs further up the food chain.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Borussia Mochengladbach)

Ter Stegen is one of the several young and immensely talented goalkeepers emerging from Germany. The 20-year-old has been linked with Barcelona to provide back-up and competition to Victor Valdes who hasn’t been flawless in the last few months. His appetite to benchwarm for the next couple of years will be slight, but the prospect of positioning himself perfectly to take one of the top goalkeeping berths in world football must also be tempting.

Brave, athletic and an organiser, he is a hugely exciting prospect. His international debut didn’t go so well after the Mannschaft conceded five goals against Switzerland. Disappointingly, Joachim Loew left him out of the squad heading for Euro 2012, but he is a player for Germany’s future.

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Ex Arsenal Keeper Praises Celtic Target

Johannes Hopf

Former Arsenal and Swedish international goalkeeper, Rabi Shaaban has heaped praise upon club-mate and rising star Johannes Hopf. Hopf (24) was scouted heavily by Celtic as well as clubs from Germany and Greece after a string of impressive performances towards the end of last season and the glowing words of Shabaan are sure to spark a resurgence in interest.

Shaaban is better placed than most to judge the rise of the young Swede. The former Gunner joined Hammarby back in his native Sweden back in 2008 after stints in England and Norway. He was first choice for the 2009 season, but in 2010 was relegated to the role of back-up by the emergence of Hopf. He hung up his gloves at the conclusion of last season after the form of Hopf played a huge role in saving the Stockholm club from relegation to the third tier of Swedish football. Since then, Shabaan has assumed the role of assistant goalkeeping coach at Hammarby and he has been impressed by what he has seen from his former rival for the starting goalkeeping berth.

“Johannes has an incredible attitude and desire,” said Shabaan reinforcing attributes that were noted by the Celtic scouts. A bid was made with a view to signing him in the January transfer window, but it fell well short of the price the Swedish club want for one of their most prized assets. With Tim Krul now firmly established as first choice for Newcastle, it seems highly likely that Alan Pardew will let Fraser Forster go for the right price and will more than likely join the Bhoys on a permanent basis from next season. Neil Lennon is still looking to strengthen his goalkeeping options and Hopf would represent a reasonably priced option with the huge potential, a view backed up by Shabaan.

“Hopf can go very far. It’s up to him. It feels good to him, I’ve been training goalkeepers a lot in the preseason. He is attentive, listens, and thinks for himself. He will now need to apply it and it will be interesting to see if he can manage it, as I hope and believe,” explained Shabaan in an interview with http://www.fotbolldirekt.se.

One club repeatedly linked to Hopf are Hoffenheim. The German outfit have developed a reputation as a club with an ability to uncover young talent missed by others and Shabaan believes his former team-mate would have little problem succeeding in the Bundesliga or another major European league. “It will suit him and it’s only a matter of time before a big move comes along. He has to keep working and learning with each workout,” he added.

For more on Hopf, here’s a highlights reel of him in action and an interview conducted with him back in October.

West Brom in for Bill Hamid

West Bromwich Albion are said to be stepping up their interest in highly rated US goalkeeper, Bill Hamid. The 20 year old has been first choice at DC United for little over a year and has been fast-tracked into the international set-up, although he is yet to make his senior debut.

As the evidence below highlights, he’s immensely agile with quick reflexes. With Ben Foster’s loan deal expiring at the end of the season, Roy Hodgson needs to pad out his goalkeeping ranks and signing Hamid would make sense.

That said however, he’s still a little rough around the edges and would need to work on his handling in particular to be a viable 1st choice. I’ve railed against the notion goalkeepers need to catch every single shot and cross perfectly, but having watched him several times during the MLS season, I think he opts to parry and punch too often. Or at least often enough to earn unwanted ‘flapper’ labels from pundits and journalists.

He’d be an interesting addition to the Premier League if it was to happen, but success is far from guaranteed.

Premier League 2011/12 GK Preview: Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Shay Given

1st Team Squad Goalkeepers: Shay Given, Brad Guzan, Andy Marshall, Elliot Parish

Overview: Replacing Brad Friedel is no easy task, but Villa have traded upwards with the acquisition of Shay Given. When he first lost his place to Joe Hart, I would have considered him one of the finest goalkeepers in the world, but for whatever reason – politics I suspect – Roberto Mancini opted for the young English man over the considerable experience of Given. It’s a decision that has worked out well, but a couple of times during the last season the Irish goalie deserved to be reinstated and was left sitting on the bench. From his outings in cup competitions and for Ireland, Given doesn’t look to have suddenly lost his ability. He has on occasion looked rusty, but the fundamentals – the reactions, the agility, the handling – remain solid and it’s only a matter of time before he regains his match sharpness. The main concern is hit recent record with injuries. By and large, Given has been relatively lucky with injuries throughout his career, but in the last couple of years, he’s picked up a couple of serious ones. Once the injuries start to creep in, it’s hard to shake them off. We’re not even talking recurrences of previous problems. It’s a bizarre phenomenon in elite sport by which once someone suffers a major injury to one part of the body, the frequency of other non-related injuries seems to increase. Hopefully Given can finish out the last few years of his career avoiding lengthy spells on the sidelines, but sadly it’s a concern. In reserve, Alex McLeish can call upon the services of Brad Guzan. I must admit, I assumed the American would be given his chance to replace his compatriot when Friedel moved to White Hart Lane, but he doesn’t seem to be considered a viable long-term option. Martin O’Neill didn’t seem to rate him and he spent some of last season on loan at Hull. He’s young enough to make it in the Premier League, but he needs to see more first team action and soon. Beyond the first two, the experienced Andy Marshall can do a job in an emergency, but hopefully won’t be required for too many games and Elliot Parish is likely to spend the season on loan somewhere.

Worst case scenario: With age catching up on him, Given’s injury woes won’t go away and he misses large parts of the season. Guzan steps in, but makes a couple of errors. With no real alternatives, Villa concede a few costly goals that their revamped attack struggles to compensate for and the relegation fears of last season resurface under the leadership of Alex McLeish.

Most likely outcome: Given may initially look rusty on his return to regular Premier League, but I fully expect him to return to something approaching his best. Even at his best, he was capable of making the odd mistake, but overall he’s a major positive for the team.

Premier League 2011/12 GK Preview: Swansea City

Swansea

Jose Moreira

1st Team Squad Goalkeepers: Michel Vorm, Jose Moreira, David Cornell, Yves Makabu-Makalambay

Overview: The summer transfer window has seen a complete U-turn in fortunes for Swansea’s goalkeeping ranks. It started with the disappointment of the departure of the goalkeeper who was instrumental in getting them to the promised land of the Premier League, Dorus De Vries, but they’ve done some impressive wheeling and dealing to more than compensate for his loss. I’ve said all along that as much as he was a great servant to the club, losing De Vries isn’t the a huge loss. It would have been had the Swans not strengthened their goalkeeping ranks to such an extent. He’s a good goalkeeper, but I feel his weaknesses would have been really exposed in the Premier League. He’s a good all-rounder with good natural reflexes, is very strong in one on one situations and is always brave and committed, but also found there to be a certain lack of agility to him and he was often rather untidy with his handling.

The signing of Jose Moreira was a decent signing, but not one that totally convinced. He comes with credentials. Although there’s a lack of strength in-depth in the Portuguese league, he has managed ten years at the pressure cauldron that is Benfica and that’s not something you do without a certain amount of ability. He’s also got an international cap to his name which again doesn’t necessarily translate and guaranteed quality, but does hint at something above the ordinary. Scratch the surface however and its a little more questionable. Moreira did spend a decade in Lisbon, but for much of it was only a back-up. He averaged 11 games a season and although some of that was down to injury, he hasn’t been first choice for an extended period of time.

It’s not all bad however, He’s an athletic, robust sort of keeper who shouldn’t have too many problems adapting to the English game. I’m reluctant to use the phrase ‘good shot-stopper’, but there’s little doubt that his main skill is the ability to cover his goal. After that, the question marks start to appear. He’s not the most convincing under crosses, favouring the punch rather than the catch in the majority of cases and in general he prefers to parry away shots rather than attempting the clean sheet. The commentators and pundits can get caught up in lambasting goalkeepers for punching and parrying rather than catching, but it certainly has it’s merits and there are plenty of situations in which it’s the right decision for a goalkeeper to make. With Moreira, his utter reluctance to catch the ball crosses over the line from being a sensible call by the goalkeeper to being a bit of an issue.

The signing of Michel Vorm changes everything however and when the season comes to an end £1.5 million fee could have him mentioned as the bargain of the season. Vorm is a an excellent goalkeeper. Although comparing him with a hypothetical hybrid does a disservice to all involved, for illustrative purposes I would see him as being something of a mix between Jorge Campos and Shay Given and here’s why. He’s got the spring-heeled agility of the Mexican goalkeeping legend. He absolutely launches himself at shots and combined with his superb reflexes, he is capable of pulling off virtually miraculous saves.He’s quick off his line, incredibly brave and he has got really good hands, not dissimilar to the Irish international. It’s no surprise to see him gain international recognition and he’ll surely go on to amass more than his five caps over the next few years.

The mentioning of Campos and Given does also have some negative connotations however. Vorm is on the shorter end of the spectrum when it comes to goalkeepers. His height is given as being 6ft on the nose, but as with most profiles, I think that may be a case of rounding up. As such he doesn’t have a great command of aerial situations. I’ve argued that this isn’t necessarily a terrible trait. As long as defenders know that their goalkeeper won’t be coming for a cross and it’s up to them to deal with it, confusion should be avoided. It’s something the players in front of Shay Given have had to deal with throughout his career and he has been involved in remarkably few calamities on crosses. Bigger problems arise with goalkeepers who make bad judgements of when to come for crosses and the sense of uncertainty creeps into the penalty area.

The two acquisitions mean David Cornell can go out on loan and get some much-needed first team experience. He’s a young player of immense potential, but he has long way to go and possibly a couple of loan spells away from the club before being a Premier League keeper. It also means Yves Makabu-Makalambay should see a mercifully minimal amount of playing time. At his best, the Belgian is an agile and effective keeper, but too often a howler isn’t too far around the corner.

Worst case scenario: In my opinion, the Swans have gone from a dire goalkeeping situation to one of real strength. The real concern would be that neither Moreira or Vorm settle in the English game, but even so, Brendan Rogers should be able to rotate them in such a way that he always has one who is in some kind of form.

What will probably happen: Vorm will perform well and make the difference between Swansea earning three points rather than one or one point rather than none. If there is a dip in form, Moreira can step in and more than likely do a decent job for a few games without having his weaknesses exposed to any great effect.

Premier League 2011/12 GK Preview: QPR

QPR

Paddy Kenny

1st Team Squad Goalkeepers: Paddy Kenny, Radek Cerny, Brian Murphy

Overview: In the interests of full disclosure, I should confess a huge liking for Paddy Kenny that goes back several years. I’ve been a huge fan of his since seeing him in his early days at Sheffield United and little has happened in the intervening period – on the playing field at least – to dim my opinion of him as a top class keeper. He did very little wrong during the Blades’ previous stint in the top flight and any time I’ve seen him since, I’ve been impressed by his natural ability. I’m delighted he’s getting another chance in the top flight because I’ve always seen him as a Premier League-standard keeper and was genuinely perplexed by the reluctance of several clubs to take a chance on him. With Sheffield United having several near-misses when it comes to promotion, perhaps he felt a loyalty to stay with them over the years or maybe clubs thought his rather complicated personal life was too much of a risk to justify his purchase, but I think he is perfectly capable of performing well in the top flight. His reactions and surprising agility were good enough when he was a more rotund figure a few years ago and now that he’s more svelte, I think that regardless of the fate that befalls football’s soap opera club, he will remain a Premier League goalkeeper for the rest of playing career.

In reserve, the Rs have the service of Radek Cerny. Kenny’s arrival at Loftus Road ended the Czech’s reign as first choice, but provided he’s not too unhappy with spending so much time on the bench towards the end of his career, he’s decent option to have from the bench. In one sense he’s an experienced Premier League keeper having spent a few seasons at Tottenham, but in reality, he was largely confined to the subs’ bench and didn’t see a lot of playing time during his stint there. That said, he went on to play regularly for QPR afterwards and although you wouldn’t want to rely on him for large parts of the season, he’s more than capable of filling in for a few games if required.

The signing of Brian Murphy adds some depth to the goalkeeping ranks. For many years, Murphy has been one of the most consistent performers in the League of Ireland and has been recognised as such with a series of awards. He’s got excellent reflexes and agility and his ability has brought him to the fringes of the Ireland team. He has already had stints in English football, so adaptation won’t be a problem. He’s unlikely to get much in the way of first team action, but his performances at Ipswich last season suggested if given the chance he should be more than capable of stepping in and possibly leapfrogging Cerny in the pecking order. In the short term at least, it’s not likely to change to much at the Rs, but he’s a useful signing – especially for free.

Worst case scenario: Problems may arise is for whatever reason Kenny isn’t fully focused on his football. He has immense natural talent, but if there are things going on int he background, he’s as likely as anyone to see a dip in performances. If he were to have a bad spell, it could be enough to cost QPR their expensively acquired Premier League status.

What will probably happen: Kenny will perform well and if QPR struggle, it will probably have more to do with their outfielder staff or – in the opinion of Neil Warnock – a conspiracy between the FA, the CIA and referees to keep Neil Warnock sides down.

Five Goalkeeping Targets For Celtic

Lukasz Zaluska insists he’ll stay and earn the right to be Celtic’s number 1, but he was probably saying something similar 12 months ago and it didn’t work out exactly to plan. The evidence would suggest Celtic are on the lookout for a keeper and here’s a rundown of some of the options in the mix.

Fraser Forster
Fraser Forster (Newcastle)
The most obvious choice of them all, but also arguably the best option. Last season didn’t finish with the haul of silverware that Celtic would have ideally liked, but on a very individual basis, they could have been very pleased with how Forster performed for them. The season had started in something of disarray in the Celtic goalkeeping ranks with no established first choice, but it wasn’t long before the Englishman stepped forward and made the jersey his own. Immensely agile for his huge size and blessed with quick reflexes, Forster impressed almost to the point of ruling himself out of a return to the SPL.

Initially it looked like Newcastle had benefited most from the loan deal – their player was coming back better and with vastly more experience of what it’s like to keep in a pressure cooker environment. In theory, he was now ready to challenge for the starting place at St. James’ Park and a genuine rival to Krul and Harper. But since then, Alan Pardew and the club have made noises that suggest they’d be happy to let him go for the right price. Reports say an offer of £1.5 million was rejected, but equally it doesn’t sound like a whole lot more would be needed to prise him away.

Money is tight in the SPL, but if we’re only taking an improved bid of between £500k and £1m, Celtic need to find the cash from somewhere. He would be the ideal solution and not just because his birthday falls on St. Patrick’s Day. Potentially Forster could be their goalkeeper for the next decade or so and even if he isn’t, his youth means his resale value will remain strong for several seasons yet – particularly if he builds on the form of last season. He’s not without his flaws – his handling can be clumsy and he doesn’t yet command his area with the authority of a keeper who’s over 2 metres tall – but he is improving and the level of risk on Celtic’s side is minimal. They know he can perform in the SPL and he’ll be pretty cheap – what else do they need to know?

Shay Given
Shay Given (Man City)
The long association between Celtic and Ireland’s north-west would seem to add credence to the possibility of Given moving to Celtic Park, but in reality that’s little more than a romantic afterthought. The modern footballer is generally more concerned with paydays rather than patriotism and Given is no different. That’s not to accuse of him being a money-grabber, he’s merely doing what any rational person would be in the best interests of their career. He has become accustomed to earning in excess of £80,000 a week; we know Celtic – at most – can afford to pay about half of that and those raw numbers make a move unlikely.

People have put forward the ‘surely he must have enough money at this stage’ argument to me on a number of occasions and whilst I understand where it comes from, no-one but Given, his accountant and quite possibly his wife know what the state of the finances are. With very few exceptions, footballers is one of the few careers in which your income decreases so spectacularly. Once your playing days are behind you, your chances of earning the wages you once commanded are slim and depending on the amount of education that had to be sacrificed in order to make it as a professional

The carrot of guaranteed Champions League football every season is now gone courtesy of the SPL’s slide down UEFA’s rankings and with it the Bhoys have lost a significant bargaining chip when it comes to bringing big names to the club. Maybe if Celtic can tug on the heart-strings, they could convince him to take a pay-cut and finish out his senior career where it (almost) started, but I suspect it won’t work. At best, they may be able to work out a Robbie Keane style season long loan in which the wages which are beyond the Celtic wage structure could be subsidised by a wealthy benefactor, but my gut feeling is this is unlikely as a goalkeeper is never likely to draw in the crowds in the same way as an entertaining goal-scorer. Simple economics may rule Given out of a move to Glasgow.

Craig Gordon
Craig Gordon (Sunderland)
For a long time, Kieren Westwood was linked with a move to Celtic so it’s somewhat ironic that it’s his move to Sunderland that has opened up the possibility of going for the Black Cats’ keeper. It’s somewhat speculative, but based on team selection and the arrival of Westwood, it would look like Gordon is now 3rd choice for Sunderland and that’s not a position a keeper entering what are theoretically the peak of his career wants to be in. If they’re interested, the time is right for Celtic to swoop. He should be looking for a move from the Stadium of Light and a move to Celtic Park would suit. With one year remaining on his contract, Sunderland will want to cash in and recoup some of the substantial £10 million fee they paid in 2007 rather than watch him wind down his contract on the bench before leaving on a free. With that fresh in their minds, Celtic could get away with of bid of maybe £3 – £5 million and in return they would be getting a very talented goalkeeper.

As ever, it’s not a deal entirely free from strings and caveats. Gordon has repeatedly shown his talent over the years, but his record of injuries is bad enough to put off vast swathes of potential suitors. On the plus side, the form of Mignolet has given him plenty of time to recover from his injuries and there is a case to be made that when he does finally return from injury, he should be rested and recuperated enough to enjoy a long injury-free spell. However, in reality it rarely works out that way and lingering niggles are notoriously difficult to shake off. Going for Gordon wouldn’t be a bad idea for Celtic – especially on what should be favourable terms – but just make sure you have a back-up who’s ready for first team action.

Artur Boruc
Artur Boruc (Fiorentina)
It was only a year ago that the Holy Goalie said goodbye to Celtic, but it was presented as an amicable split to suit the various interests of the parties involved rather than an ugly break-up and there’s not much evidence to suggest otherwise. Boruc seemed genuine about wanting a new challenge and Celtic wanted to make some money from his sale rather than letting him go a season later on a Bosman. Sure Boruc was capable of some awful clangers, but he was also capable of making far more outstanding saves than costly errors. I’d imagine in the absence of other alternatives, Celtic fans might welcome him back. Rangers fans and members of the Strathclyde police working on Old Firm match-days might think differently. He was a controversial figure who did little to reconcile the sectarianism that has dogged football in the city with actions and gestures that were at best, ill-advised and at worst, unnecessarily provocative.
Whilst initially he went to Fiorentina to compete with for Sebastien Frey for the starting berth, at the back of his mind – and the minds of people at the club – may have been the prospect of replacing Frey long-term. The Frenchman is perennially linked with transfers away and the chances are that before too long, one of them might prove to be on the money. Boruc was an insurance policy and not long into the new season they had to make a claim, albeit one that had arisen for entirely different reasons. In November, Frey suffered a cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out for the season. Whilst there was the short-term benefit for the Pole of taking the starting role for the remainder of the season, in the longer term the injury may actually have hurt his chances of becoming the Viola’s first choice. After suffering such a major injury, big clubs are unlikely to want to risk buying a player only making his way back to full fitness. It’s difficult to recreate the stresses and strains on a goalkeeper’s joints outside of an intense training or match environment and clubs following his progress will probably want to see a full season of action before deciding to part with the cash. If Boruc goes toe to toe with a fully fit Frey for the starting position, it’s the Frenchman who’s likely to prevail. It is merely coincidence that as Frey nears the end of his rehabilitation, rumours about Boruc going to the Premier League suddenly emerged? Given the tabloid press and their penchant for making things up, quite possibly yes, but it also coincides with a time when Boruc may have realised the battle he has on his hands to keep the jersey.

So far his time at Fiorentina has demonstrated two things. Firstly, he’s still a very good goalkeeper and secondly, he’s still not eradicated the infrequent clangers from his game. It may not be to every Celtic fan’s taste, but in this case the devil you know may be better than the devil you don’t.

Cammy Bell (Kilmarnock)
Although he’s the closest to home, for a couple of reasons Bell is the arguably the least likely target on this list. The hottest goalkeeping property in Scottish football has been frequently linked with moves away from Rugby Park in the past, especially as his contract with Kilmarnock was allowed to run down, but his recent penning of a new deal as made a move less of a cheap option. We know from modern football that the signing of a new contract often has little to do with an expression of long-term loyalty from either player or club and very often is just a matter of both sides making sure they get what they can out of each other financially. With that in mind, if Celtic want him now, it is going to cost them significantly more than if they had made a move a year ago or in the January transfer window. Bell enjoyed a good season with Kilmarnock until a disappointing run of results in the Championship section of the SPL season and on a personal level was rewarded with his first cap in the early months of the season.

Having seen him thwart Celtic on several occasions, Neil Lennon will know what he’ll get from Bell. He’ll get a superbly agile and technically correct goalkeeper with excellent reactions. What he doesn’t know however is how the youngster will cope with the move from the backburner or Kilmarnock to the frying pan of an Old Firm club. Plenty of goalkeepers – both talented novices and vastly experienced old hands has struggled to deal with the intense scrutiny. The pressure he’d face as Celtic goalkeeper would be unlike anything he’s experienced in his career to date and the prospect of risking a sizeable chunk of cash on Bell may not be a risk Lennon is willing to take. In future, he may think otherwise and there’s still plenty of time for a move to Celtic Park to come to pass, but for the moment, a move looks highly unlikely.