Mat Ryan looks set to join La Liga outfit Real Socieded on a loan-to-buy deal this week, according to a report. Celtic had been linked with the goalie but nothing more than initial interest leaving the player free to move to the Basque Country.
According to El Diario Vasco (via Record Sport), Ryan will have a chance to earn a permanent move to Spain if he impresses on loan.
Ryan spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal and The Gunners had been keen on bringing the Australian back on a permanent basis as back-up to the current No.1 Bernd Leno. However, the player wanted regular first team football and Celtic were subsequently linked with a move given the Ange Postecoglou factor.
Postecoglou made him his No.1 with Australia and they enjoyed success, winning the Asia Cup and qualifying for the Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup. The pair clearly know each other well and a move for Ryan made sense given Celtic’s goalkeeping woes from last season. Although, now it looks as if the Australian No.1 will be returning to La Liga with Sociedad. Given the size of the rebuild at Celtic, a move for a goalkeeper wouldn’t have been unreasonable but there are certainly more positions needing immediate attention ahead of the goalies.
Vasilis Barkas is expected to make an effort to prove himself as the club’s first choice but Postecoglou can take no risks after the poor goalkeeping performances from Barkas, Scott Bain and Conor Hazard. Celtic need to improve in a number of positions and the goalkeeping one is certainly one that requires immediate attention. Although, given the fee paid for Barkas, you would expect him to continue as club No.1.