Swedish club AIK have made their move for Celtic defender Mikael Lustig, hoping to sign him upon the expiry of his Hoops contract at the end of the season, as reported by The Scottish Sun.
However, they’re willing to wait on the player before taking their negotiations to the next phase, believing that the 32-year-old will wait until the end of the season to make a firm decision on his future.
As quoted by the paper, AIK sporting director Bjorn Wesstrom explained their approach:
We have confirmed that we have spoken to Mikael Lustig about a transfer.
I have to say we are not close to an agreement yet. If we were close to a deal, the player would have spoken to the manager and he hasn’t done that yet.
What Mikael needs to decide first and foremost is whether he wants to stay at Celtic or not.
As I understand it, he wants to concentrate on ending the season with Celtic as strongly as possible. He has a job to do there. Both him and Celtic.
When Mikael indicates to us what he has decided to do with regards to his future, we will take the next step.
So the situation is that we have made contact, but we are not in the next phase yet.
It seems then that the veteran player’s future is in his own hands, with a short extension to his current spell at Celtic potentially possible if he wants it, going by those comments from Wesstrom.
Lustig has been heavily criticised by some of the last 18 months for increasingly poor performances, but he has come back into the team over the last couple of months and been relied upon by interim boss Neil Lennon.
Replacing his experience and contribution to the team won’t be easy, the loan signing of Jeremy Toljan is enough proof of that, so keeping him around at Celtic Park, at least as back-up, may not be the worst idea.
Do you think Mikael Lustig has earned a Celtic stay beyond this season? Have your say in the comments below…