LIVERPOOL striker Divock Origi has been linked with Celtic – for a second time in 28 months.
The Belgian international frontman was on Brendan Rodgers’ wanted list in November 2018 as he continued his search for a long-term successor to Moussa Dembele who had joined Lyon in a £19.8million switch in the summer.
The former Hoops boss was an obvious admirer of Origi after spending £10million to sign him from Lille in 2014 during his time as Anfield gaffer.
Rodgers only had Leigh Griffiths and the emerging Odsonne Edouard, signed for a club record £9million from Paris Saint-Germain in June that year, as his main frontmen and was looking to strengthen his attacking options.
TACTICS CHIT-CHAT…Brendan Rodgers talks to Divock Origi, his £10million signing for Liverpool in 2014.
The Merseyside outfit wanted a straight cash deal, but the Irishman was hoping to tempt the powerful forward, who will be 26 next month, to Parkhead on a loan basis and the move never materialised.
Origi, who scored the second goal in his team’s 2-0 Champions League Final win over Spurs in June 2019, is back on the radar, according to reports from across the border.
He has made only six starts and netted once in the fallen Premier League title-holders’ calamitous campaign and appears to be heading out of Anfield despite still having three years to run on his terms.
There is now talk of Origi, who is valued at £12million, being used as part of a player-exchange switch for Edouard, who will almost certainly quit the Glasgow giants in the summer although he is under contract until June 2022.
Celtic would expect a cash adjustment in their favour for the 22-year-old French star who has scored 21 goals in a patchy campaign for the club and the individual.
ON TARGET…Odsonne Edouard nets the winner against Aberdeen last month.
But with Origi seemingly unwanted by Jurgen Klopp there has also been reported interest from Leeds United and Inter Milan who could team him up with his international colleague Romelu Lukaku.
That would spark a £12m transfer tug-of-war for the hitman.
Celtic have struggled for firepower in a disappointing season with Edouard having a lacklustre first half to the term with a mere seven league goals before the turn of the year while Albian Ajeti, a £5million summer arrival from West Ham, failing to convince with only six strikes.
Patryk Klimala, the £3.5million Pole, doesn’t look the answer, either, and has claimed three strikes this year while Leigh Griffiths has struggled for game time and has managed a meagre seven goals.
It’s one of the areas that will urgently need to be addressed by Neil Lennon’s successor and Origi may yet get his move to the Hoops – almost two-and-a-half years after the original link.