After Hakšabanović joins Malmo, six more Celtic exits expected this summer

Sead Hakšabanović is the latest player to leave Celtic after completing his move to Malmo yesterday, with the Montenegro international forward having a dig at the Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers in his farewell message to Celtic.

“So my time at Celtic has come to an end, earlier than I thought and expected an wanted but smoother people had another opinion and I gotta respect that.

“I wanna thank the players, the staff and the fans because that is really what Celtic I about, we made some good memories together and I will always have love for Celtic, good luck and Celtic ate massive everywhere they go. All the best for the future,” Hakšabanović said.

So Hakšabanović joins Joe Hart in leaving Celtic and there are likely to be numerous additional exits as Brendan Rodgers, after a year back in the job, looks to re-shape his Celtic squad. So as there is precious little transfer activity regarding incomings at the moment – although, fingers crossed, that will change shortly – we thought we’d have a look at six players who could be joining Hakšabanović in heading out the door this summer from Celtic…

 Ben Siegrist of Celtic is seen in action during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Celtic and Blackburn Rovers at Celtic Park on July 16, 2022. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

1. Ben Siegrist – Although Joe Hart has left, there seems little chance that Siegrist will be back at Celtic next season. Joining from Dundee United in the early months of Ange Postecoglou’s two remarkable years at Celtic, the Swiss keeper was never given a chance as Joe Hart showed his quality as first choice Celtic keeper. Siegrist has been talking up his own Celtic departure in recent weeks and this will not have got down well with Brendan Rodgers who seemed to prefer Scott Bain as his back-up goalkeeper. Best for all parties if Siegrist moves on as soon as possible.

Gustaf Lagerbielke of Celtic FC during the UEFA Champions League match between Feyenoord and Celtic FC at Feyenoord Stadion de Kuip on September 19, 2023.Photo VI ANP Sport Jeroen Putmans

2. Gustaf Lagerbielke – Signed from Swedish side IFS Elfsborg in August last year for £3m the former Swedish defender of the year has failed to establish himself at Celtic. He was sent off in Rotterdam in the Championship League opener against Feyernoord and then in the final group stage match against the Dutch Champions he came off the bench to score the winner. A loan move to Italian side Lecce fell through at the eleventh hour in the January transfer window due to injury problems at Celtic but the Swede wasn’t called upon and will now be one of the players leaving the club this summer. Celtic will be looking at recouping as much of the transfer fee as possible.

Yuki Kobayashi during the Scottish Cup Fourth Round match between Celtic and Morton at Celtic Park on January 21, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

3. Yuki Kobayashi – Remember him? He arrived in December 2022 from J-League side Yokohama Marinos, as another Ange Postecoglou signing. Initially things looked promising enough for the left-sided central defender, a notably decent showing at Tynecastle springs to mind but after the league was won poor showings in the 3-0 Dead Rubber at Ibrox and a 4-2 defeat at Easter Road seemed to have ended his time at Celtic. There has been talk of loan moves back to the J-League but so far nothing has materialised for a player who doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the first team under Brendan Rodgers.

4. Marco Tilio – The Australian winger arrived injured and when he was able to get some minutes failed to impress. Sent back to the land Down Under on a loan deal in January, it’s hard to see an opening emerging at Celtic for Tilio under Brendan Rodgers.

Oh Hyeongyu celebrates scoring during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian at Celtic Park on December 06, 2023 . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

5. Hyeongyu Oh – The South Korean striker has been linked with a summer move to Belgium with Genk very keen to bring him in. Oh arrived at Celtic in the January 2023 transfer window as another Ange Postecoglou signing and the Aussie boss had high expectations for the powerful striker.

“He’s going to be a fantastic player for us. We’re slowly integrating him into things on and off the field, but I see him in every day in training. He’s such a presence, a physical presence & he has got good quality in him as well. He’s just really hungry to succeed,” Postecoglou said. However after using the striker as his back-up in the first half of last season, Brendan Rodgers brought in Adam Idah on loan from Norwich and his success meant that Oh dropped out of the picture. Celtic paid Suwon Bluewings around £2.5m for the player and should make a profit on the expected transfer to Genk.

Mikey Johnston of Celtic during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Hibernian and Celtic at Easter Road, 28 October 2023. Photo Paul Phelan PSI

6. Mikey Johnston – The Republic of Ireland winger has returned from his latest loan spell away from Celtic after enjoying a highly successful time at West Brom that has left the West Midlands club keen to bring him back in a permanent transfer. Celtic will be looking for a decent transfer fee, with reports suggesting around £6m and much of that will be used to offset the expected increase in valuation that Norwich City will want for Adam Idah who made the opposite journey to the Scottish Premiership from the English Championship in January. Both players had notable successful loan spells, and both their clubs quite understandably will seek to cash-in on that success. Mikey’s time at Celtic looks to be over.

These exits will add some funds to the transfer coffers, save plenty in wages and will create space in the Celtic squad for incoming players of Brendan Rodgers’ choosing who will certainly contribute more than the players expected to join Sead Hakšabanović in leaving Celtic this summer. 

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

1 Comment

  1. Andrew McKeever on

    Agree with all of those names – James McCarthy surely has to leave this summer!