Kelleher preference revealed ahead of potential club-record summer deal

Caoimhin Kelleher is intrigued by a move to Celtic with Champions League football available to him north of the border according to a new report. 

Kelleher, 25, is the long-term understudy to Alisson Becker at Liverpool and has repeatedly expressed a desire to depart Anfield in order to become a No.1 goalkeeper in his own right. 

Wolves, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest are among the other teams linked with a move for the 14-cap Irishman, who could be available for around £20 million this summer. 

That price could be out of range for Celtic, who see Kelleher as their first-choice goalkeeping option, but whose club-record signing is Odsonne Edouard for around £9m. 

Kelleher is tied to Liverpool until 2026 but is widely expected to leave in this transfer window and Celtic would have to surpass their record fee to get a deal done. 

With Alisson missing large parts of the season due to injury, Kelleher stepped in and made 26 appearances overall, the most he’s played in any season of his Liverpool career. 

He was in goal as the Reds won the Carabao Cup against Chelsea at Wembley, keeping a clean sheet and making several important saves. 

Matches like that have given the Corkman the belief that he can star as a first-choice goalkeeper elsewhere having played second fiddle to Alisson since 2019. 

“It [Carabao Cup] ended up being our only trophy of the season so that made it even more special and keeping a clean sheet that day was vital,” he told The Athletic

“Playing against Man City at home was another big one for me with the rivalry between us. You’re not going to play in a more high-profile game than that in world football and I thought I did really well. 

“You think, ‘Yeah, I’m capable of doing this every week at a high level’. I got the taste for it and I want to do it all the time. My main ambition is to be a No 1.”

Celtic need Hart replacement

And now HITC is reporting that Kelleher’s preference is a move to Parkhead, where he would replace the retiring Joe Hart. 

The 37-year-old Englishman has been a dependable presence for the Bhoys since moving to Scotland in 2021, winning three Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and two League Cups. 

Brendan Rodgers’ side have a tough task replacing Hart, and have also been also linked with moves for Viljami Sinisalo of Aston Villa, Trabzonspor’s Ugurcan Cakir, and Etienne Vaessen, who is out of contract having left Waalwijk.

For their part, Liverpool have also been linked with goalkeepers this summer in the shape of James Trafford of Burnley, Filip Jorgensen of Villarreal and Sunderland’s Anthony Patterson. 

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