Sheffield United: Celtic refuse to admit defeat in their pursuit of Blades star George Baldock
George Baldock remains Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou’s preferred option to solve Celtic’s problems at right back, despite instructing the former Scottish Premiership champions to also explore the possibility of moves for Rennes duo Brandon Soppy and Sacha Boey.
As The Star reported last month, Postecoglou placed the Sheffield United defender’s name at the top of the list of potential targets presented to him by Parkhead’s recruitment gurus after taking charge earlier this summer.
Although Soppy and Boey - who spent last season on loan with Dijon - are both rated highly by the Australian, Baldock fits the profile of the new signings he wants to bring to Glasgow. After performing a detailed investigation into the reasons behind Celtic’s difficulties last season, Postecoglou concluded their squad has become too dependent upon overseas rather than British talent.
That, combined with the fact his employers have been tracking Baldock for the best part of two seasons, has prompted him to make the 28-year-old his number one choice to strengthen the right hand side of their rearguard.
Although Anthony Ralston produced a creditable performance during Celtic’s recent friendly against Midtjylland, Postecoglou is aware an upgrade is required if they are to reclaim the title they surrendered to arch-rivals Rangers in uncharacteristically meek fashion.
Tenacious, energetic and now experienced at the highest level of the game following two seasons in the Premier League with United, Baldock possesses the qualities Postecoglou believes will be required to lead the fight-back.
However, Celtic are understood to be unwilling to pay much more than £5m for the player; a figure which, despite being relegated back to the Championship, is unlikely to impress United.