VASILIS BARKAS has played no role in Celtic’s title-winning season – and only featured in two games under Ange Postecoglou.
But the Greek outcast could play an integral role for them Tires this summer.
The goalkeeper loaned the season to Utrecht in Holland.
And while the Eredivisie side are keen to keep the international, they have frequently admitted he is outside their price range.
However, there is hope for both sides in the potential deal – and it could only be doubly beneficial for Celtic.
Reports in the Netherlands have linked the Hoops to another Utrecht-based Greek – striker Tasos Douvikas.
And Barkas, who has grown close to his compatriot and has offered transfer advice as his star grows across the continent, could help ease the move.
A Utrecht transfer insider has suggested the goalkeeper could stay at the club as part of the deal with Douvikas Glasgow.
It wouldn’t be the first time Celtic have opted for a Greek striker who finished top scorer in Holland – Ange Postecoglou moved for Giorgos Giakoumakis in August 2021 after taking the lead at VVV Venlo.
Utrecht technical director Jordy Zuidam has indicated he would seek all available avenues to hold Barkas – but there is interest from elsewhere in Celtic’s flop and a role as a replacement for an in-form forward could be a deal in favour effect the Dutch team.
He said: “I would expect a number of players to leave the club at the end of the season, including Vasilis Barkas.
“Many of our loan players have a purchase option in their loan agreement. This is not the case with Barkas.
“To be honest, the chances of him staying are minimal.
“But of course I always try to look at and explore the possibilities. Then I’ll see if there’s still a chance.”
Owner Frans van Seumeren admitted the club “did everything we could” to keep the 28-year-old on.
If the reported deal goes through, Barkas would also suggest a U-turn on his advice to the young forward.
Barkas attracted attention with his 16 goals this season vI: “Tasos shouldn’t be in a hurry. He has talent. If a club comes from a big league today, he can handle it. Why not? But I think he should get a few minutes and goals in Utrecht first.”
The keeper has one year left on his Parkhead contract after signing Neil Lennon in a £4.5million move from AEK Athens in 2020.