Fraser Forster was linked with a sensational return to Celtic yesterday. However, the Scottish Sun’s report about the 33-year-old goalkeeper has been countered by a Hampshire Live story that reports that Ralph Hasenhuttl wants Forster to fight Alex McCarthy for the No.1 jersey suggesting he has no intention of letting the goalkeeper go yet.
The report does say that Forster needs to make himself No.1 else he faces being released at the end of his contract at the end of the season. Forster may see a move to Celtic on loan as an opportunity to play football but also take the eyewatering wage that the Saints have to pay him for another year.
The situation at Southampton with McCarthy, Forster and Harry Lewis means that the Saints are unlikely to sign a new goalkeeper but they may be reluctant to commit £130k-per-week to Forster when there are cheaper alternatives available.
It was ultimately a case of what could have been last season and a big part of that was losing a top-quality goalkeeper like Forster but also pinning our hopes on him, which meant that Craig Gordon could leave for Hearts on a free.
Celtic have played three goalies since Forster left. Two players that trained with Forster last season – Scott Bain and Conor Hazard become makeshift No.1s, replacing Vasilis Barkas who was meant to be the like-for-like replacement. The £4.5m arrival from AEK Athens was billed as Fraser Forster’s replacement but Barkas struggled to settle at the club as he struggled to make any positive impression and criticism was planted at his door.
However, the Greek Internationalist has impressed in pre-season, appearing more confident and playing the sweeper-keeper role that Postecoglou evisages. Talk of Forster should be shelved, only to be revisited if the player is free and willing to return to Celtic.