Preston’s summer search for a goalkeeper ended without an arrival, but the targets have all ended up finding clubs.
North End wanted Aro Muric from Manchester City, but ended up losing out to Nottingham Forest. We understand there was some glimmer of interest in Christian Walton, but nothing was doing as he joined Blackburn Rovers.
Late in the window, North End started to explore other loan deals. They looked a little higher, with Southampton stopper Fraser Forster on the wish list.
The 31-year-old has been frozen out by Southampton since the beginning of 2018. In fact, he’s only made one competitive appearance since January 1st 2018.
Southampton have been looking to offload Forster, and North End tried their luck. We noted earlier this month that social media claims of a deal being close were a little premature, as wages were difficult to agree on. The LEP’s Dave Seddon also reported similar, that wages were beyond North End.
That’s no great surprise. Spotrac claim that Forster earns a staggering £70,000-a-week at Southampton, with another three years left on that deal.
North End wouldn’t have been able to pay even half of that, possibly not even a quarter of it. A move for the former England international relied heavily on Southampton being so desperate to get rid, that they’d agree to pay a huge portion of his wages. The Saints weren’t that desperate, and Forster has now found a new club, which just happens to be his old club.
Celtic have tonight confirmed that Forster has re-joined them on a season-long loan deal. Forster made his name with Celtic, spending four years at Parkhead before joining Southampton in 2014.
It was Neil Lennon who brought him to Celtic back in 2010, and he’s reunited with the stopper now.
✍️ Fraser Forster rejoins #CelticFC on a season-long loan.
Welcome back, Fraser! 🍀⚪️
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) August 22, 2019
North End signing Forster always looked unlikely, and Celtic will obviously be able to pay a greater wage contribution than Preston. Add in his emotional link to Celtic and the lure of European football, and it’s possibly the ideal move for Forster – even if he would have been a great signing for Preston.