FRASER FORSTER could be in line for a remarkable return to Celtic next month.
The towering keeper rejected a move back to the club in the summer after playing a major role in the team winning their ninth successive league title the previous season.
Forster, 32, also turned in a Man-of-the-Match performance in the 1-0 triumph over Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox also-rans as the Parkhead men clinched their fourth consecutive Betfred League Cup.
Celtic and the fans’ favourite are only two days away from the first anniversary of that truly astounding individual performance that also included a sprawling penalty-kick save from Alfredo Morelos.
It is believed the Hoops hierarchy were convinced the six times-capped England international No.1 would be on his way back to Glasgow and, according to a report in the Scotland on Sunday, they as still mystified at the skyscraper shotstopper’s decision to remain at Southampton as understudy to Alex McCarthy.
UNBEATABLE…Fraser Forster dives to his right to save Alfredo Morelos’ penalty-kick in last season’s Betfred League Cup Final victory.
It is suggested in the newspaper article, Forster, who has a year-and-a-half of a lucrative £92,000-per-WEEK deal to run, held off agreeing to another loan switch because he had hopes of joining Chelsea.
That news will not come as a surprise to our readers – we revealed the tale in June in an exclusive CQN report.
Stamford Bridge gaffer Frank Lampard did move for a new keeper, but, instead of Forster, he spent £22million on Edouard Mendy from Rennes.
While Forster delayed, the champions allowed Craig Gordon to leave at the end of his contract to rejoin Hearts and he will be in goal for the Edinburgh side when he faces his old mates in the delayed Scottish Cup Final at Hampden a fortnight today.
Neil Lennon has a massive problem to solve before an encounter that could see the club clinch a phenomenal quadruple treble with their TWELFTH successive domestic honour.
FANS’ FAVOURITE…Fraser Forster acknowledges the accolade after his amazing Hampden display.
Neither Vasilis Barkas, who arrived in a £4.5million switch from AEK Athens in the summer, nor Scott Bain has impressed and the under-pressure manager realises he must get in a reliable netminder next month – or face the inevitable consequences.
Twenty-seven goals conceded in the past 11 games tell their own horrendous story.
Forster has now come back into focus.
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhüttl has snubbed the Geordie who has not played a solitary minute for the south coast first team in this campaign, even remaining on the substitutes’ bench on the September evening the club played Brentford in the Carabao Cup when they were shocked 2-0 at St Mary’s by the Championship side.
Forster, growing frustrated with life in the shadows, may now be more open to a return to Celtic with five months’ game-time practically guaranteed.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v St Johnstone this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.