CELTIC outcast Boli Bolingoli is on the brink of a long-awaited move as Ange Postecoglou continues his Celtic clear-out.
The blundering Belgian has made only two first-team appearances since it was revealed he broke strict Covid regulations for a two-day break in Spain in August 2020.
Bolingoli, signed the previous year by Neil Lennon for £3million from Rapid Vienna after Kieran Tierney’s move to Arsenal, was packed off to Turkey for a loan spell with Instanbul Basaksehir. He missed the run-in to the campaign through injury and was returned to Celtic in the summer.
ON THE MOVE…Boli Bolingoli in action during the 2-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park in October – his second and final first-team appearance of last season.
The 26-year-old defender made a couple of starts last season – in the 1-0 loss at Livingston in September and the 2-0 win at Motherwell the following month – before agreeing a temporary switch at the turn of the year to join Russian side Ufa.
However, the arrangement coincided with the country’s invasion of Ukraine and the move collapsed although he was not welcomed back to Glasgow.
Bolingoli trained on his own in Belgium and now Championship side Reading, according to local media reports, are poised to offer him a lifeline with an initial loan contract that could lead to a permanent move.
The errant errant left-back could lead as many as TEN departures who will leave Postecoglou’s squad in either permanent or temporary deals before the transfer window closes at midnight on August 31.
JOY BHOY…happier times for matchwinner Christopher Jullien who celebrates after Celtic’s Betfred League Cup Final triumph over Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side in December 2019.
Christopher Jullien travelled with the squad for the 10-day training camp in Austria with the 29-year-old Frenchman’s future still undecided.
Talks with Bundesliga outfit Schalke collapsed last week following a finanical hitch in negotiations after the towering centre-back, who has played only 16 first-team minutes for the champions in 18 months after knee ligament surgery, had passed a stringent medical the previous day.
Reports suggested the loan move was not completely off the table when the German club’s sporting director Rouven Schroder refused to rule out a second offer.
However, there are now claims the newly-promoted side have switched their interest to 36 times-capped Japanese international stopper Maya Yoshida, 33, who is a free agent after leaving Sampdoria in the summer.
Jullien, who cost £7million when he arrived from Toulouse in June 2019, is now in limbo with Postecoglou obviously believing a move coud be the most favourable solution.
DOWN – AND HEADING OUT…flop striker Albian Ajeti after another miss.
Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton, who has agreed a two-year switch to Maccabi Tel Aviv, were the first to leave at the end of the season while Liam Scales (Aberdeen), Adam Montgomery (St Johnstone) and Vasilis Barkas (FC Utrecht) have shifted on loan.
Northern Ireland keeper Conor Hazard, the quadruple treble hero during the Scottish Cup penalty-kick shoot-out triumph over Hearts in December 2020, will remain at Finnish side HJK Helsinki on a temporary transfer until the end of December.
One-time wonder Bhoy Karamoko Dembele, 19, has penned a four-year deal with French outfit Stade Brest while Republic of Ireland Under-21 midfielder Luca Connell has joined Barnsley in the English third tier.
Twenty-five-year-old Swiss striker Albian Ajeti, who has scored a mere nine goals in two seasons since his £5million arrival from West Ham, has struggled to convince and it looks as though his time is up in the east end of Glasgow, despite having two years still to run on a contract that is reputed to be one of the most lucrative at the club.
A possible return to his homeland with Basel at the turn of the year is believed to have fallen through due to the Swiss club’s inability to match his Hoops salary, as CQN reported.
The champions would welcome offers for their expensive flop and Ismaila Soro, a £2million buy from Israeli club Bnei Yehuda in January 2020, has failed to impress after starting in the first team following the arrival of the Greek-Australian gaffer.
NOW YOU SEE ME…Ismaila Soro jokes for the photographer during training at Lennoxtown.
The Ivorian anchorman rarely featured in the run-in to the club’s tenth title in 11 years and is under contract until May 31 2024. Partizan Belgrade have shown an interest in taking the player to Serbia in a temporary capacity.
Defender Osaze Urhoghide, 21, who spent the second half of the campaign on loan at Belgian side KV Oostende, and midfielder Liam Shaw, who agreed a switch to Motherwell at the same time, are two others who may be surplus to requirements in the forthcoming season.
The double-act were already heading to Celtic at the end of their contracts at Sheffield Wednesday on four-year deals before the arrival of Postecoglou.
Both made their debuts in the home 3-2 Europa League victory over Real Betis in December and have displayed signs of promise, but they may have to wait for their opportunity of an extended run at Parkhead.
With the signing of Benji Siegrist, 30, on a four-year contract, the manager now has five shotstoppers – with the Swiss netminder joining Joe Hart, Scott Bain, Ross Doohan and Tobi Oluwayemi.
WAITING IN LINE…Ross Doohan (extreme right) goes through a training routine with glove rivals Joe Hart, Scott Bain and Benji Siegrist.
Barkas, bought for £4.5million from AEK Athens in the summer of 2020, has already moved on to the Eredivisie and at least one more could be released.
Doohan, 24, made 33 appearances for Tranmere Rovers last term and has already been linked with Donaster Rovers and St Johnstone where he would catch up with left-back Montgomery in Perth.
English teenager Oluwayemi has impressed Postecoglou and been brought into first-team training at Lennoxtown and been involved in European squads. He flew out to Austria with his team-mates and the manager may decide he will make better progress under his watch at Parkhead.
Mikey Johnston, 23, had an injury-interrupted term last time out with just five starts, one of them coming in the Premier Sports League Cup Final triumph over Hibs on December 19 2020 at Hampden.
ON A WING AND A SLAYER…Mikey Johnston played his part in the 2-1 Premier Sports League Cup Final victory over Hibs six days before Christmas.
The winger has three years left to run on his contract and could be guaranteed first-team action elsewhere which may tempt Posstecoglou to release the former Scotland Under-21 international on loan to allow him some valuable game time.
Johnny Kenny, the Irish teenage goalscorer who joined from Sligo Rovers in January, is with the squad which jetted out for the training HQ, but he is another who could benefit from a temporary switch.
Midfielder Scott Robertson, who has had loans spells at Gillingham, Doncaster Rovers and Crewe since 2020, was introduced to the Celtic first team by Lennon for the European tie against Cluj in Romania in December 2019 when the visitors lost 2-0.
The 20-year-old holding midfielder, whose deal runs until May 31 2023, has yet to play a competitive domestic game and could be on his travels again this summer.
Others will come and go until the transfer window slams shut.
Watch this space!