Celtic Will Have to Break Transfer Record for Carabao Cup Hero Kelleher
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Celtic Will Have to Break Transfer Record for Carabao Cup Hero Kelleher

06/06/24 10:43

Glaswegian giants Celtic have identified Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher as a replacement for Joe Hart, who announced his retirement in May.

However, Liverpool will demand more than £20 million for their backup ‘keeper this summer. Kelleher has built a reputation as one of the best reserve shot stoppers in world football, filling the boots of Liverpool’s number 1 comfortably.

In February, the Irishman performed admirably at the foot of a young Liverpool team that achieved Carabao Cup glory against Premier League rivals Chelsea, pulling out some remarkable saves to keep a clean sheet in the final.

His performance provoked attention on social media with some calling for Kelleher to keep his place in the team after Alisson recovered from his injury. But Klopp reinstated the Brazilian and Kelleher was once more an onlooker in Klopp’s farewell tour.

At 25, the Irish international is seeking a move that would cement him as a number 1, having played second fiddle for his entire Liverpool career. Making only 47 appearances for the Reds since his debut in 2019, Kelleher enjoyed his most fruitful spell in Merseyside this season making 26 appearances.

But it is clear that the Premier League winner is too good to be a permanent fixture on the Liverpool bench and has requested a move away from the club he joined back in 2015, insisting that the next step must be as a first choice goalkeeper “Whether it’s here at Liverpool or somewhere else.” Premier League outfit Wolves are said to be showing interest amid rumours of Jose Sa considering a move to Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Gary O’Neil’s side are likely to be able to match Liverpool’s asking price for the 25 year old.

Ireland’s current number 1 does not expect to overthrow Alisson as Liverpool’s first choice ‘keeper saying, “I know Ali has been the best goalkeeper in the world for years.” Therefore, it remains likely that Slot will cash out on his number 62 to bolster his kitty to enhance the Arne Slot Liverpool regime.

The Daily Mail had reported that Celtic were willing to offer £10 million to prize Kelleher away from Liverpool with the Irishman keen on a move to the Scottish Premier League. But, before his departure, Klopp insisted that Liverpool would stand firm on their valuation of Kelleher suggesting that it is unlikely that Celtic will be his destination this summer.

The Bhoys would have to break their transfer record of £15 million set back in 2022 as they welcomed highly rated Jota from Benfica.

Celtic will have to turn to other options between the sticks next season and they have been linked to experienced QPR stopper Asmir Begovic and Aston Villa goalkeeper Viljami Sinisalo after he impressed on loan at Exeter City last season. The position has become somewhat of a priority for Brendan Rodgers as his side continue to be linked with names across Europe.

For Kelleher however, Wolves seems like a likely destination.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Oscar Tucker

Football Writer

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