GUSTAF LAGERBIEKLE is on his way to Celtic – and could be in Brendan Rodgers’ squad for the start of Celtic’s defence of the Viaplay League Cup on Sunday.

The £3million-rated Swedish international centre-back looks to have said farewell to Elfsborg in his team’s 1-0 loss to Hamaraby at the weekend.

And the 23-year-old stopper may even be in line for a quickfire debut against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in the 3pm kick-off.

SWEDE DREAMS…Gustaf Lagerbiekle is on his way.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, who missed the last six games of the previous season after undergoing knee surgery in May, is doubtful for the Ayrshire tie after his no-show in the second-half of the 3-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie yesterday.

The USA World Cup star reportedly had a hamstring problem and remained in the dressing room for immediate treatment before joining his team-mates on the touchline midway through the second period.

Stephen Welsh, who made only five appearances last term, came on to play alongside new Bhoy Maik Nawrocki as the champions ground out three points against dangerous opponents.

With the Champions League games looming next month, Brendan Rodgers will take no risks with Carter-Vickers, the back-four’s Mr Reliable since his original loan switch from Spurs which became a £6million permanent deal last summer.

Another on stand-by is Japanese recruit Yuki Kobayashi who arrived from Vissel Kobe in January after his club contract expired.

The left-sided operator has not figured in a matchday squad since the 4-2 loss to Hibs at Easter Road on May 24 which came just 11 days after an unconvincing performance in the 3-0 flop at Ibrox.

THAT’S MY BHOY…Cameron Carter-Vickers congratulates Stephen Welsh after Celtic’s 3-1 win over Aberdeen with Anthony Ralston and Yang Hyun-jun joining in the applause at Pittodrie.

There have been suggestions the 23-year-old stopper could join Hoops team-mate Yosuke Ideguchi back in the J-League on loan until the end of the year.

And, of course, Rodgers lost the services of regular back-four performer Carl Starfelt last week he moved to La Liga outfit Celta Vigo after two years at the Hoops.

The door is now open for Lagerbiekle to rubberstamp his move to Parkhead and the player is obviously ready to get business done and launch his new career at the treble winners.

The towering centre-half was asked by Swedish TV channel, Discovery+, if Celtic would represent a step up. He didn’t hesitate as he answered: “Very much.

“It would be a fun challenge to come to a big club in Europe and play in the Champions League and, hopefully, win titles. So, that would be fun.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT…Yuki Kobayashi can’t prevent Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet thumping in a header which was scrambled clear by the grounded Scott Bain in Celtic’s 4-2 loss in May. The Japanese defender hasn’t been involved since the Edinburgh flop.

“It is a very big club with a good Swedish connection with Henrik Larsson, Starfelt, Lustig and Mjallby among others.

“They play in the Champions League every year and win titles.”

The 23 year-old defender who won his first international cap at the turn of the year in a 2-1 victory over Iceland was coy about any forthcoming deal.

Lagerbiekle added: “Maybe. I don’t want to say anything before something is signed, but it may well have been.

“I know that the clubs have been in negotiations – that’s what I know.

“It is clear that it is fun that Elfsborg gets, or would get, a lot of money.”

The guessing game is likely to come to an end within the next 48 hours.


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