According to reports, Celtic are keen on signing for 26-year-old Greek International Vasilios Barkas. The Hoops are in talks with AEK Athens over a possible move and as it stands, they and AEK have reportedly agreed on a fee with the goalkeeper having arrived in Glasgow for a medical.
Earlier, the Hoops had a £3.5million bid rejected for the AEK Athens shot-stopper, but negotiations have been fruitful since then and Scottish champions are excited to welcome Barkas having made the Greek ace their number one target this summer.
In the latest update to Celtic’s chase for a no.1 this season, according to Greek outlet Sportime via The Herald, the Celts have put forward a second bid of around £5million and are now close to signing the AEK Athens shot-stopper. The report also states that personal terms have already been agreed between the player and Celtic and that the player is expected to sign a four year deal.
Reports from the Daily Record also claims that newly promoted English side Leeds United and French outfit Montpellier where also keeping a close eye on the situation of the 26-year-old goalkeeper, who has a current asking price at £6.5 million, but for now it seems Celtic have secured the upper hand with the player choosing Paradise as his next destination as Celtic prepare for another Scottish Premiership title.
Record Sport reported last month that AEK’s major financial supporter Dimitris Melissanidis and Technical Director Ilia Ivic held a meeting in the middle of lockdown and came to the conclusion that selling Vasilios Barkas would be a crucial way to recover some revenue after recent hits to the club’s finances and that is something that Celtic have taken advantage of.
AEK Athens are having a torrid time with suspended sentences, fines, and crowd bans from UEFA for fan trouble at Europa League games. Moreover, the current pandemic has not helped their situation with Greek football being shut for three months and play-off matches to be played behind closed doors after the game’s restart, causing further damage and loss of revenue.
AEK’s Technical Director Ivic is believed to have recognized Barkas as a player who needs to be offloaded as the current back-up keeper Panagiotis Tsintotas has proven his quality and is tipped to be the new full-time, first-choice keeper for them.
In the current Super League 1 season, Barkas has started 20 times for AEK Athens and has managed to keep a clean sheet in 10 games. Celtic manager Neil Lennon wants to acquire his services as they only have one senior goalkeeper in Scott Bain after successive departures of Fraser Forster and Craig Gordon.
As the current situation plays out, it looks like Vasilios Barkas has had the choice to either get into the most competitive league in the world with Leeds or chase a record 10th consecutive Scottish League title with Celtic and he has chosen the latter.