Chris Sutton feels Celtic shouldn’t go anywhere near Joe Hart in their search for a new goalkeeper as it could be too much of a gamble with ten consecutive Scottish League titles on the line.
Celtic are on the hunt for a new goalkeeper with Scott Bain the only senior netminder at the club following the departure of Craig Gordon.
Neil Lennon has made his feelings clear that former number one Fraser Forster is their main target, however, talks have gone cold on the player’s side in recent days.
“We are looking at other options. There was a deal [for Forster] agreed between the clubs but it’s gone quiet from the player’s side of things,” Lennon told Sky Sports News.
“We would dearly love him back here but if that’s not going to be the case then we’ll look elsewhere.”
Is Joe Hart a possible replacement?
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) July 6, 2020
Former England international Joe Hart has been linked with Parkhead following his departure from Burnley last month, however, Lennon was ambiguous in his response when asked whether he was a target for the club.
“We’re looking at a number of options on the goalkeeping front. It’s such an important position and Fraser did wonderful things for us last season.
“We’ve got big gloves to fill if you want to put it that way but ideally we’ll try to get an exceptional number one in again.”
Lennon’s former teammate Chris Sutton has made his feelings clear on the speculation linking the former Man City player with Celtic claiming his former club “shouldn’t go anywhere near” him.
“I’ll tell you one place they shouldn’t go anywhere near and that’s Joe Hart,” said in his Daily Record column.
“He was a top-class goalkeeper at his peak, but he’s too much of a gamble having had a bad spell in his career.
“If you want my opinion, he won’t be anywhere near Celtic Park.”
The former Celtic frontman, who was described by Henrik Larsson last week as his best ever strike partner, believes the club should be looking to a commanding number one with a calming influence otherwise Celtic’s ten-in-a-row dreams may fall by the wayside.
“This is a crucial decision for the club. Missing out on Forster would leave a gaping hole and Lennon is going to want a proper number one who can command and also provide some calm during a tense season.
“Scott Bain is there just now but if Lennon thought he was a first choice, he wouldn’t have signed Forster last summer, so it’s not going to be him.
“Celtic will have irons in the fire. They’ll be looking across the continent and trying to source the best available. But goalkeeper is such a specialist position which requires a certain type and this is not a time for gambles.”
In Sutton’s opinion, another former Celtic shot-stopper, David Marshall, would be the safe bet for Neil Lennon going forward.
“I don’t know if Lennon rates David Marshall or thinks he’s good enough to be his out-and-out No.1, but he’s the one that I would be looking at just now in terms of a safe bet.
“Is he as good as Forster? No. But he does have an awful lot going for him in terms of Celtic’s situation right now.
“By that I mean he knows the environment, he knows the pressures of playing for the club. He was doing it as a teenager in the team I played in alongside the likes of Henrik Larsson and Lennon himself.
“Marshall lost his spot to Boruc when Gordon Strachan arrived and didn’t reach massive heights in England.
“But the fact of the matter is that he’s the Scotland No.1 at the moment. He has gained lots of experiences in over 10 years south of the border and you wouldn’t imagine he’d be panicked or fazed. Wigan’s sorry crash into administration surely makes him easier to buy as well.”