Celtic are a club in need of a new goalkeeper. Joe Hart will be 37 years of age before this season comes to an end and has faced a decent bit of criticism in recent times. Sooner or later, the Hoops do need to bring in someone for the long term. Could the answer to their problems be a 33-year-old currently playing in the English Championship?
Most Celtic fans would certainly prefer the club to go for someone experienced and established but still in his mid-20s. But the club have recently been linked with a move for Vaclav Hladky of Ipswich Town.
Not too long ago, Hladky was playing in the fourth division of English football for Salford City FC. He has spent time in Scotland in the past as well, having played for St Mirren. His first two seasons at Ipswich Town were not much to write home about either.
This time around, he seems to have enjoyed a meteoric rise. Hladky has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Championship as Ipswich Town challenge for promotion to the Premier League and currently sit at second in the table.
Ipswich Town goalkeeper could sign pre-contract with Celtic
Hladky's current deal with Ipswich Town runs out this summer though. That means that he could sign a pre-contract agreement with Celtic if he wanted to. Carlton Palmer said when speaking to Football League World:
"I believe 11 Ipswich players could sign a pre-contract agreement elsewhere in January, and Celtic are reportedly keen on signing Ipswich's Czech international goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky.
"Vaclav, who is 33, is out of contract at the end of the season.
"Ipswich are in a strong position with the players they have out of contract at the end of the season - the players will keep performing because they want to get promoted to the Premier League and back-to-back promotions would put them in Ipswich folklore for years to come, and whether they sign new contracts or not, other clubs will be interested in them on frees and they can command good salaries.
"For Ipswich, who did not make wholesale changes upon getting promoted to the Championship, it gives them a chance, should they achieve promotion to the Premier League, to let players go that they don't think will be good enough at that level.
"The only issue is if players heads get turned speaking to other clubs, such as Vaclav, in this case he could sign a pre-contract with Celtic in January."
Most Celtic fans will not be convinced by the possibility of signing Hladky. To be fair to him, he is doing great right now and is a good goalkeeper for sure.
That being said, he is 33 years of age and finally playing at a high level. So, would someone like Hladky be a long-term solution for Celtic? It quite certainly does not feel like so. Of course, he can be a decent cover option, if someone like Benjamin Siegrist left.