FORMER Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas has hinted there could have been a “bust-up” between Ange Postecoglou and Josip Juranovic.
The one-time Hoops fans’ favourite was clearly not impressed by the Croatian defender’s performance in the 2-2 draw at Ibrox.
Juranovic was on the substitutes’ bench at kick-off with Canadian international new Bhoy Alistair Johnston making his debut in the No.2 position in place of the injured Anthony Ralston.
However, the 27-year-old World Cup star was given the nod to replace hamstring victim Greg Taylor in the left-back slot in the 21st minute.
WAITING IN THE WINGS…Josip Juranovic before he got the call from Ange Postecoglou to come on for injured left-back Greg Taylor at Ibrox.
And Juranovic endured a torrid time against Fashion Sakala, particularly in the second-half when the Zambian winger ran amok and was instrumental in the hosts’ two goals.
CQN made it clear that left-back is not a position where the highly-rated performer is comfortable and we urged Postecoglou never to select him for the No.3 slot again in our report yesterday.
Of course, with Juranovic knocking back a contract extension, there is every possibility that he will not be at Parkhead when the transfer window closes at the end of the month. Already the likes of Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea have been linked with the man who cost £2.5million when he arrived from Legia Warsaw in August 2021.
But his showing against Michael Beale’s outfit was far from acceptable and there is no doubt the home side targeted the player as a weak link after the turnaround.
Nicholas, though, thinks there may be something deeper than the defender simply looking out of sorts in his first outing since returning from Qatar.
DERBY DISASTER…Josip Juranovic endured a torrid time at Ibrox.
The 61-year-old former Scotland ace, speaking to the Daily Express, said: “I don’t know what happened with World Cup star Josip Juranovic not starting on the right and then coming on for Taylor on the opposite flank.
“Maybe he had a bust-up with Ange Postecoglou, but he had an absolute shocker.
“Left-back shouldn’t have been a problem as he’s played there many times before. Given he wasn’t picked to start, Juranovic might be thinking Celtic are looking to sell him and this could be one of his last games.
“That’s certainly the way it appeared. He’s a player that I rate, but I’ve never seen him that poor before.
“And that was what created the spark for Rangers with Fashion Sakala’s pace down that side. Rangers went 2-1 up and had control.”
The countdown to the final day of the transfer window will most certainly be an interesting one at Parkhead.
There is every chance Juranovic will figure in it.