23 July 2014 08:16
Celtic manager Ronny Deila has admitted the club are only staving off the inevitable by rejecting Southampton’s bid for Fraser Forster.
The England goalkeeper played in Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Icelandic outfit KR, which secured a 5-0 aggregate win and progression to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, just hours after Celtic had knocked back a reported £7.5million offer for his services.
Scottish champions Celtic are understood to believe Forster is worth much more, but Deila knows his club will not be able to hold onto the highly-rated gloveman forever.
Nevertheless, the Norwegian hopes to keep Forster beyond the current transfer window.
“In the end, something will happen with Fraser,” Deila said.
“But whether it happens now, in the winter or next summer, I don’t know.
“I want to keep him because I want to qualify for the Champions League and build this team further.
“We want to keep him here. He has given me no indication he wants to leave. He is an unbelievable professional and I know he wants to play in the Champions League.”
Forster has played 140 league matches for Celtic over four seasons with the Glasgow-based club, winning the last three Premiership titles and the Scottish Cup in 2011 and 2013.
The Newcastle United youth product was part of Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil but has only played two matches for England.