VASLIS BARKAS knows he has no future at Celtic after dropping to third in the pecking order behind new arrival Joe Hart and Scott Bain.
The flop keeper has been linked with a loan return to AEK Athens, the club who sold him to the Hoops for £4.5million last summer. Reports also state there could be Italian interest in the 27-year-old netminder, according to the Daily Record.
However, there is a massive snag – Barkas is under contract to the Parkhead club until June 2024 and is picking up something in the region of £20,000 per week in a basic wage.
Interested clubs are baulking at paying that sort of money for a shotstopper who has seen his value drop dramatically after a wretched debut campaign in Scotland that eventually saw him axed to make way for Bain and Conor Hazard, who was the team’s Scottish Cup hero when he saved two penalty-kicks in the shoot-out to seal the quadruple treble in the delayed 2020 Final at Hampden in December last year.
Ange Postecoglou insisted every player was starting his reign with a clean sheet, but Barkas gifted FC Midtjylland their crucial equalising goal in the Champions League qualifier in Glasgow and Bain was restored for the return leg in Denmark a week later when Celtic toppled out 3-2 on aggregate after extra-time.
The clock is ticking to deadline day at 11pm in three weeks’ time with the Hoops desperate to get the misfit off the wages bill.