Celtic manager Neil Lennon has touched on the “extensive” list of players being looked at ahead of this summer’s transfer window.

The Hoops are looking to secure a historic 10th consecutive Premiership title next year. If successful, they would become the only club in Scottish football to have achieved the remarkable feat.

However, squad changes yet again look necessary. The club this week confirmed that both Jonny Hayes and Jozo Simunovic will be leaving this summer (BBC). Question marks also remain over the future of out-of-contract Craig Gordon, who played second-fiddle to Fraser Forster last season.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Dame N'Doye of FC Kobenhavn challenges Jozo Simunovic of Celtic FC during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Celtic FC and FC Kobenhavn at Celtic Park on February 27, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

This will mean additions to the squad will also be a necessity. And speaking in the Scottish Daily Mail (print edition, 31/05, page 147), Lennon confirmed that targets are already being watched.

“I am in regular contact with Nick Hammond (Head of Recruitment) and he has staff working 24/7 on looking at players. It is difficult as there are no games and you can’t go and see players live.

“But we have an extensive list on each position and where we can improve. I am happy with the core of the squad and I don’t think we need to make any radical changes.

“We are taking it day by day right now and trying not to predict things. Leagues are still trying to finish. If we can get Elyounoussi and Forster back, that wouldn’t take too much integration.”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 18: Celtic fans gather at Celtic Park following the announcement that their club has been crowned Scottish champions for the ninth season in a row and Hearts have been relegated after the SPFL ended the season on May 18, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Not many areas stand out that need strengthening

Celtic fans won’t want to hear any excuses about this summer being a “difficult” one. This is the season of the holy grail for them. The club must simply pull out all the stops to ensure success come the end of it.

However, in saying that, there aren’t many stand-out areas of their squad that need improving. Sure, every club in world football always looks to add to what they have. But actually strengthening Celtic’s starting XI looks next to impossible in the current market.

Replacements will need to be made at both centre-back and left-back. Boli Bolingoli hasn’t shown that he can cut it yet down the left side, whilst Greg Taylor needs reliable cover after Hayes’ departure. With Simunovic also gone, Celtic only have Christopher Jullien, Kristoffer Ajer, and Nir Bitton available as first-team cover at the heart of the defence.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 06:  Ryan Christie of Celtic scores the opening goal during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian at Celtic Park on February 6, 2019 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As for their forward line, you’ll do well to find a weakness. They’re well-stocked with quality in the number 10 position thanks to Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic. The same can be said down the right side with James Forrest, whilst Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths look more than capable of hitting the right notes this season.

Elyounoussi and Forster look set to be chased judging by Lennon’s comments. If Celtic get both of those deals over the line as well as replacements for the departed, do they really need to make any further tweaks?

Player sales will likely determine where Lennon looks to further strengthen. However, at the moment, their squad looks as strong as it has done in years. Continuing to develop the current squad as a whole looks a more attractive proposition than making wholesale changes.

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