Hearts forward Steven Naismith has poured cold water over Celtic’s hopes of signing Everton defender Phil Jagielka in the summer.
According to the Scottish Sun, the 36-year old has attracted interest from Celtic since the news of his eventual release from Everton.
The Scottish forward revealed to the Herald Scotland that he believes the centre-half is unlikely to make the move up north to Scotland, saying: “He’s a top player, he’s more of a footballing defender if you like.
“He maybe doesn’t look like that a lot of times in games but he is a very good footballer who could easily play in midfield,
“I can’t see him finishing because he has a lot to offer and loves football,
“Will that be in Scotland? I would be surprised if he came up here. He’s got more association with different clubs down south, like Sheffield United where he came through, and he has a family with kids who are going through school.”
Celtic’s hopes of signing the veteran defender may have been slightly knocked by the comments of his former teammate, however it can’t be argued that a move back to his former club would seem like the likely move for him to make.
After their promotion to the Premier League, Sheffield United may be looking for someone to come in with experience in a Premier League dressing room, Jagielka for example, which would no doubt be the ideal move for the 36-year old.
However, Naismith’s comments effectively don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, and if Jagielka was to be offered game time and the chance to win trophies with Celtic, then it’s a real possibility that he’d may be open to making the switch up north.
There is no doubting that the former England defender still has what it takes to play at the top level for at least another season, but the questions still remains as to which country he’ll be playing his football in next season, if anywhere at all.
Jagielka will be leaving Everton once his contract expires at the end of June, and would be a good fit for Celtic going into the new Scottish Premier League season, through his vast experience at the top level in the Premier League.
It may seem unlikely that Jagielka would make the switch back to his hometown club however, as they may not be willing to bring in a player of his age after being freshly promoted from the Championship, which would leave the door wide open for Neil Lennon at Celtic.
However it doesn’t sound great that Naismith, who knows Jagielka well, dismisses the Hoop’s chance of signing the enforcer.