It’s looking increasingly likely Celtic will raid Rubin Kazan for the second time in two seasons by signing Montenegrin international Saed Haksabanovic in the coming days, after purchasing Carl Starfelt from the Russian side last summer.
And whilst Celtic paid a £4.5m feel for our Swedish centre half, Haksabanovic – who is reported to be having a medical in London today – will, it appears, sign for far less, with the Russian club understood to have agreed a £1.7m deal with Celtic after signing the player from IFK Norrkoping for £5.5m just 15 months ago.
With Russian football impacted by Vladamir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, the consequences for Russian clubs appears to be biting. With operational costs remaining high, yet income dwindling, Haksabanovic it appears is one of many players who will be looking to get out of Russian football, whilst the selling clubs are forced to consider far lesser offers than the true worth of their players.
Haksabanovic’s former coach, Swede Jan Jonsson – who Ange Postecoglou will know well from his time in Japanese football, gave the versatile attacker his first break in football. And as reported in Daily Express believes Celtic would be the ideal fit for a player who thrives in a 4-3-3 formation
“I feel he now needs to move again and Celtic would be the perfect club for him. It’s a big club with Champions League football this season and it would really suit his strengths.
“I am very familiar with Postecoglou’s style from our time together in Japanese football. Creative players will enjoy his way of playing and I know Sead would enjoy it.
“For me, it would be the ideal place and the ideal coach for the next stage of his development. I last spoke to him a few weeks ago and I wish him all the best in the future. Sead is a good player and a great character. He has the talent to go and be a success at Celtic, if it happens. I like Sead coming in off the left in a 4-3-3 — he can be very effective in that area.”
Ange Postecoglou had stated he was looking for another couple of players before the transfer window closed, and also confirmed ideally those signings would be able to operate in multiple positions. Haksabanovic fits that bill as a wide player who can also operate centrally and also behind the forward line.
At 23 years of age and likely to be purchased for a fee far less than his true market worth, it seems the Celtic manager’s targeting of Haksabanovic may have seen Postecoglou make another smart recruitment manoeuvre, to add to his already sky-high success rate in the transfer market to date.