Xavier Mbuyamba, the FC Volendam star who played for Chelsea and Barcelona in the past, could be heading to Italy as Celtic’s interest in him has cooled down after they signed Maik Nawrocki from Legia Warsaw on Wednesday.
However, it is not clear if Celtic see Nawrocki – who can play on the left or the right of the defence – as a replacement for Mbuyamba or a possible partner for the 21-year-old, who only played on the right for Volendam last season.
Mbuyamba could still have a chance at Celtic, especially if Carl Starfelt leaves for Spartak Moscow.
Mbuyamba was excellent as Volendam avoided relegation in 2022/23.
The Daily Mail say that Celtic are very keen on Mbuyamba, and they should be able to beat Sampdoria, who were relegated from Serie A and have financial problems.
Sampdoria, according to Voetbal International, had a £1.3 million offer for Mbuyamba turned down. Sampdoria are now managed by Italian legend Andrea Pirlo and former Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani, but it is not known how much more they can pay for Mbuyamba, who left Barcelona for Chelsea in 2020 before going back to his home country.
Mbyumba would be Celtic’s seventh permanent signing of the summer.
Celtic have already signed Marco Tilio, Tomoki Iwata, Odin Thiago Holm, Yang Hyeon-Gyu and Kwon Hyeok-Kyu, as well as Nawrocki.
Mbuyamba, however, has not ruled out staying in the Eredivisie until 2024.
“My agent is in the Netherlands. Soon, we will discuss what is going on,” he told De Telegraaf a few months ago.
“There will be interest. But the main question is whether a move is right for me. If not, then I will stay. I have said that I will stay with FC Volendam for a maximum of two years. And this is my first season…”
“This was my first year in men’s football. I played in everything, showed that I can perform well and stayed fit. That’s great. I can’t complain about my performance.”