Celtic eyeing up a move for Mexican defender Edson Alvarez

Celtic are keeping tabs on Club American defender Edson Alvarez as Brendan Rodgers after he sealed Liga MX glory against Cruz Azul.

The 21-year-old central defender, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, scored twice against former Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha’s Cruz Azul to secure a record 13th Liga MX title.

Contracted to Club America until 2022, it could take around £3.5 million to secure the services of the Mexican International with a host of European clubs interested in him also.

With defender Dedryck Boyata out of contract next summer and linked with a move away from the club and on-loan defender Filip Benkovic returning to parent club Leicester at the end of the season, Celtic will be looking for defensive reinforcements

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – DECEMBER 16: Edson Alvarez #4 of America heads the ball against Adrian Aldrete #16 of Cruz Azul during the final second leg match between Cruz Azul and America as part of the Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX at Azteca Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

But Celtic’s last foray into Mexican football should send a warning to the current management team.

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon signed Mexican International Efrain Juarez in July 2010 from UNAM Pumas for around £2m on a four-year deal. Just like Alvarez, Juarez was a versatile player capable of playing at right-back and in midfield.

He made his debut in the 3-0 defeat to Braga in the Champions League and despite doing well initially domestically, he lost form and dropped out of the starting eleven. Some pointed towards Celtic’s exit from Europe but he was subsequently farmed out on loan to Real Zaragoza in July 2011 with an option for a permanent deal.

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM – SEPTEMBER 25: Efrain Juarez of Celtic during the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Hibernian at Celtic Park on September 25, 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

His loan deal was cut short and he returned to Celtic in January 2012 and had to watch on as Cha Du-Ri and Adam Matthews were ahead of him in the squad.

In June 2012, he was signed by Club America and Juarez bid farewell to Celtic and European football.

While it is unfair to lump Edson Alvarez alongside Efrain Juarez, with Celtic’s history of Latin defenders [specifically Rafael Scheidt] one would be forgiven to be hesitant over such a signing.