Leicester defender Filip Benkovic close to Celtic loan deal
Last Updated: 30/08/18 11:47pm
Celtic are close to agreeing a season-long loan deal with Leicester City for centre-half Filip Benkovic.
Benkovic made his debut for the Foxes in Tuesday's 4-0 win over Fleetwood Town, coming on as a replacement for captain Wes Morgan in the 62nd minute.
But he looks like he will have to wait until next season to play in the Premier League with Brendan Rodgers confirming a deal to take him to Parkhead for this season is close.
Rodgers said: "I am not sure if it is totally confirmed yet. He is one that we were interested in. He is a young guy that is coming with a bright future at Leicester but we will take him here on loan hopefully and develop his game.
"He is a big threat in both boxes - a big presence, can attack the ball well. That is something I think the team needs."
Leicester have depth at centre-half after bringing in Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu this summer in addition to Benkovic, while Morgan, Harry Maguire and Yohan Benalouane are also options.
Benkovic was at Celtic Park on Thursday to watch Celtic beat FK Suduva 3-0 (4-1 on aggregate) to reach the Europa League group stage.
If the deal goes through on Friday as expected, Benkovic could make his debut for Celtic in Sunday's Old Firm game against Rangers at Parkhead.
Rodgers also remains bullish that Celtic will hold onto striker Moussa Dembele, despite receiving a "significant offer" from French side Lyon.
Dembele was left out of Celtic's squad to face Suduva, with Lyon president Jean-Michael Aulas claiming earlier this week the forward is interested in a move to France.
"We will see over the course of the next 24 hours where that is at," Rodgers said.
"Like I said before the game, the club have had a significant offer, it has been ongoing now for a couple of days and we have taken Moussa out of it.
"We don't want him to go. We understand where it is at and we understand the offer is significant but it is no good for us. You know, it has to work for both.
"For Celtic, if we don't have someone of a certain calibre and quality to come in, then unfortunately it can't be done because he is not a player that we want to lose so we will see how that goes over the next 24 hours."
When asked if he is confident Dembele will still be at Celtic after the transfer deadline closes at midnight on Friday, Rodgers replied: "Yeah".
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