FRASER FORSTER and Mohamed Elyounoussi look to be edging closer to permanent deals at Celtic.
Hoops boss Neil Lennon has already stated he wants the towering keeper and the left-sided raider to remain at the club as he prepares his squad for a historic 10-in-a-row title bid in the new season.
As CQN reported last week, the Irishman admitted: “We’re hopeful they’ll be around, but that’s a conversation we’ll have to have with Southampton and with the players individually.
“We’d want to keep them if we could. It keeps that continuity going rather than maybe going out and bringing other players in.”
Both Forster and Elyounoussi are due to return to Southampton next month when their season-long loan deals expire.
However, the the south coast club could be forced to sell their top earners as they face financial meltdown during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report in the Sunday People.
Chinese owner Gao Jisheng is desperately seeking a cut-price £150million sale for his 80 per cent stake in the Premier League outfit.
However, if he is unable to attract the right offer, the Saints will be left with no option but to cash in the sale of some of their players during the next transfer window in the hope of raising something in the region of £100million.
Forster dropped to third in the goalkeeping pecking order at the club behind Angus Gunn and Alex McCarthy before returning to Parkhead five years after leaving in a £10million switch to the English outfit. The fans’ favourite cemented his status at the club with a consistent campaign and was Man of the Match when Lennon’s side won the Betfred League Cup in December when his heroics – including a penalty-kick save from Alfredo Morelos – defied Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox club.
Norwegian international Elyounoussi, who cost £16million when he signed from Basel, also impressed during his stint at the nine-in-a-row champions, despite a foot injury hampering his progress.
Also going into the shop window could be top scorer Danny Ings, fellow-striker Nathan Redmond and midfielder James Ward-Prowse.
Forster still has two years to run on a lucrative contract while Elyounoussi has a deal until the summer of 2023.