CELTIC centre-back Stephen Welsh has been linked with Croatian top-flight outfit Hajduk Split, according to a report in The Scotsman.

The 22-year-old defender kicked off the season in the top side and netted the champions’ first goal of the 2022/23 campaign with a header in the 2-0 win over Aberdeen on Flag Day at Parkhead on July 31.

Since then, though, Welsh, the former skipper of the Scotland Under-21 team, has played only three more Premiership games and is struggling for game time.

ON THE BALL…Stephen Welsh took the place of the injured Cameron Carter-Vickers in the 2-0 loss to St Mirren in Paisley in September.

He has attracted interest from Udinese and Toulouse in the recent past, but boss Ange Postecoglou appears to be in no rush to part with the utility defender who made his debut for the Hoops in a 4-1 win over Hamilton Accies at New Douglas Park on February 2020.

The Greek-Australian gaffer will undoubtedly struggle for cover on the right-hand side of the rearguard if Cameron Carter-Vickers is out for a lengthy period.

On the left, on-loan Moritz Jenz filled in for Carl Srarfelt when he missed 14 games after an injury sustained in the 4-0 derby win on September 3. Plus Yuki Kobayashi is now available after agreeing a five-year contract last month which was activated at the beginning of the month.

The Hoops boss is not so well covered on the other side, though, which makes Welsh a dependable stand-by and an important member of the first-team squad.

The Coatbridge-born youngster is under contract until June 2025.

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