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The next stage of the Celtic recruitment process should be in place

Celtic are reportedly preparing for January’s transfer interest in right-back and Croatia international Josip Juranovic.

The 27-year-old joined the Hoops from Polish side Legia Warsaw last summer as part of Ange Postecoglou’s squad rebuild.

And Juranovic proved to be a quality acquisition after signing for around £2.5million, playing a key role in the success of the Bhoys Scottish Premiership and Premier Sports Cup.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

After a brilliant first season in the Green and White Hoops, inevitably, transfer interest arrived at the defender during the summer.

European giants, including Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, have been linked with moves for the right-back after it was initially announced he was to leave Parkhead.

However, Juranovic remained a Celtic player at the end of the summer window, opting instead to focus his involvement with the Bhoys, who took part in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

With his first-choice right-back role at the club also locked in, it meant he was likely to remain the number one right-back for his international side as well.

That turned out to be the case, with Juranovic now gearing up to feature in this winter’s World Cup for Croatia, which will take place in Qatar.

When the tournament concludes in December, the Celtic defender will return to the club, with a number of crucial fixtures later next month and in January.

Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

However, if the reports are to be believed, these fixtures could look like his last outings after it was reported that the club are preparing for January’s move of interest in the right-back.

According to Stephen McGowan in the Daily Mail, the Hoops hierarchy have held talks with Juranovic’s agent over a new contract. But these talks were unsuccessful.

Although the Croatian’s future is still tied to the club, with his current contract running until 2026, Celtic are now preparing for a transfer interest, which is expected to arrive in January.

A strong performance at the World Cup this month could spark increased interest in the defender, with a January exit looking more likely at this stage.

The next step in Ange Postecoglou’s transfer strategy looks set to be launched.

As supporters, it’s never nice to see some of your best players move on. Especially when it’s a popular member of the team like Juranovic.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, this could be a sign that the next step in Ange Postecoglou’s recruitment strategy is starting to fall into place.

Earlier this month, the Celtic manager spoke about the importance of the club’s transfer deals, including the movement of players, in order to improve the squad.

So, if Juranovic were to move to a new team in the January transfer window, you’d imagine Bhoys’ recruitment team would already have plans in place for his replacement option.

Celtic fans are delighted with Ange Postecoglou’s transfer deals so far, since his arrival last summer.

However, we are about to see the Celtic manager face his toughest recruitment challenge yet, finding another quality replacement for Juranovic.

It speaks volumes for the club’s supporters and hierarchies with the faith they have in the 57-year-old, with those involved at the club confident that Postecoglou is getting on with the job.

In other news, Daizen Maeda is aiming to thrive on the World Cup stage using crucial Celtic experience.