Leo Hjelde has emerged as a defensive target for Southampton. The Celtic defender is on loan at Ross County gaining valuable first team exposure and now The Saints are looking to raid the club for the Norwegian centre back.
According to The Sun, the Norwegian is a target for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Premier League outfit as the St Mary’s club look to prepare for the new season by signing the promising 17-year-old. Celtic have lost a number of promising youngsters like Barry Hepburn, Liam Morrison and Josh Adams. Therefore a deal must be struck to keep Hjelde at Celtic Park. The player has a year remaining on his contract and convince him that his best place to progress is under a new manager in Glasgow.
Celtic poached Hjelde from the Norwegian side in 2019 and he is well thought of within the club, a move to Dingwall has aided his progression and bolstered his chances of becoming a first team player at Celtic down the line. Hjelde made the bench in the 1-1 draw with Hibs at the beginning of the year but he may get an opportunity if a new manager comes in that fancies giving the youngster a run in the team.
Celtic and Southampton have dealt with each other a number of times in recent years, offering a route to the Premier League to players like Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster, Stuart Armstrong and Virgil Van Dijk; whilst Celtic have signed Moi Elyounoussi and Forster back on loan.