THE Liel Abada guessing game could end in the summer with a £10million switch to Southampton.
However, there is a massive stumbling block that could scupper the 21-year-old Israeli winger’s hopes of a move to England.
The south coast club are anchored at the foot of the Premier League with 23 points, one adrift of West Ham and Bournemouth and two behind Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City. With 10 games to play, the spectre of relegation hangs heavily over St Mary’s.
A drop into the second tier will almost certainly put any transfer deals on hold for the club who have regularly shopped in the east end of Glasgow in recent years to sign the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Fraser Forster, Victor Wanyama and Stuart Armstrong.
JOY BHOYS…Liel Abada joins skipper Callum McGregor and his Celtic team-mates in the Viaplay League Cup celebrations after last month’s 2-1 win over their Ibrox opponents.
Abada had hardly allowed the ink to dry on his five-year Hoops contract in July 2021 when he was declaring his love for Liverpool. Probably not advisable to make such proclamations before you have kicked a ball for a club that has just spent £3.5million to secure your services from Maccabi Petah Tikva.
However, even that early in his shift to the UK it was abundantly clear where the lively raider thought his future would take him.
There have been noises coming from Abada’s homeland – mainly from his former club president Avi Luzon, as CQN pointed out yesterday – and it looks unlikely the player will start a third term at the champions.
HIGH HOPES…Liel Abada celebrates one of his first-half double in the 4-0 win over Ibrox rivals in September.
The goalscoring touchline ace, who netted 15 in his debut campaign at Parkhead, knocked back a contract extension in November – around the same time Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis also rejected new terms.
The Croatian right-back is now in the Bundesliga with Union Berlin and the Greek striker has joined MLS outfit Atalanta United.
Abada could complete the trio, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
The Israeli youngster could return early from the international break after sustaining a hamstring muscle injury in training as his nation gets ready for the Euro 2024 qualifying double-header against Kosovo and Switzerland.