Sky Sports: Celtic make contact over move to sign new "elegant" player at the top of his game

Sky Sports: Celtic make contact over move to sign new “elegant” player at the top of his game

Celtic have made an approach over a potential move to sign FC Volendam centre-back Xavier Mbuyamba, according to Sky Sports reporter Anthony Joseph.

The Hoops and Brendan Rodgers appear to be on the search for a new centre-back despite already signing Maik Nawrocki from Legia Warszawa at a cost of €5m. He’s one of six new players through the Celtic Pak door this summer, with Odin Thiago Holm, Hyun-jun Yang, Marco Tilio, Hyeok-kyu Kwon and Tomoki Iwata also making the move to Parkhead.

However, with all the incomings, there have been outgoings. Jota made the move to Saudi Arabia in a deal worth £25m earlier in the window, while Conor Hazard left for Championship side Plymouth Argyle on a permanent basis.

Carl Starfelt could be the next to leave Glasgow, with Rodgers saying prior to the opening-day win against Ross County that the club could soon lose the Sweden international.

“Carl is in a position where he may be leaving the club.

“He has been fantastic and really respectful, but he is in a position where we may lose him. This is a chance for Maik (Nawrocki) to build a partnership with Cam (Carter-Vickers).”

One player who has been linked as a potential replacement is another Sweden international in IF Elfsborg defender Gustaf Lagerbielke. Reports have claimed that an offer from Celtic which is close to £3m has been submitted for the defender in what would be a record sale for Elfsborg, but it doesn’t look as if Lagerbielke is the only option.

Sky Sports’ Joseph took to X on Tuesday to share a Celtic transfer update, he said that alongside Lagerbielke, an enquiry has also been made for Mbuyamba.

“Celtic have made enquiries for two centre-backs as they look to replace Carl Starfelt. It’s understood enquiries have been made for Elfsborg’s Gustaf Lagerbielke and Volendam’s Xavier Mbuyamba.

“Reports in Sweden suggest Celtic are further down the line with Lagerbielke.”

Mbuyamba is just 21 years of age and can also turn out as a right-back alongside his favoured centre-back role. He has already spent time on the books of both Barcelona and Chelsea during his career but left Stamford Bridge in 2022 for Dutch side Volendam.

Labelled as a “complete, elegant and dominant” defender by football talent scout Jacek Kulig, Mbuyamba has gone on to play regular senior football for Volendam in the Eredivisie, turning out on 30 occasions in all competitions last season.

Mbuyamba managed an impressive five goals during the previous campaign and appears to be at the top of his game after his Transfermarkt valuation increased to a career-high €2m following his return to the Netherlands.

He could well be a player that improves even further over time, however, Mbuyamba is under contract until 2025, with Volendam having the option of extending that by a further year.

Therefore, Celtic may have to pay what Volendam are after if they are to have any chance of landing the centre-back, but it could still be one to keep an eye on over the coming weeks.

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