Ange Postecoglou eager to tie down Cameron Carter Vickers on permanent deal as Celtic boss addresses form at halfway point of Premiership season

The Hoops manager cast his thoughts on the Hoops first half of the season 2021/22 season

Cameron Carter-Vickers joined Celtic on a season-long loan from Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the summer transfer window. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has revealed completing the permanent signing of defender Cameron Carter-Vickers is his main priority when the January transfer window opens later this week.

The 23-year-old centre-back has impressed for the Hoops since joining on a season-long loan deal from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer and has intimated he would be keen to extend his stay beyond this summer.

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Carter-Vickers remains under contract at the North London club until 2023 but it is believed Antonio Conte will happily let him join the Parkhead outfit if the club’s asking price of £6million is met.

Postecoglou confirmed the American is a massive part of his future plans, with fans hopeful he will form a strong defensive partnership with the returning Christopher Jullien in the second half of the season.

Cameron Carter-Vickers missed the win over Hearts. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Asked if he was keen to tie down Carter-Vickers on a long-term contract, the Australian said: “Absolutely. I wouldn’t have brought him in if I thought it was a short-term thing.

“All the players we have brought into the club we have done so with some thought of building a team around them.

“Building a team means more than just 12 months but a lot of that depends on the player himself. Those discussions will happen over the next few months.

“People will be well aware our game schedule has meant the focus has been on performances, playing well and getting the job done.

“The intimate details of people’s contracts or clauses, all those things need agreement from two or three parties, and that’s why we take our time.”

Postecoglou admitted he tried to sign Carter-Vickers permanently in the summer but ran out of time due to the late departure of two former Hoops stars.

Cameron Carter-Vickers "excellent" debut showing in Celtic's win over Ross County has convinced the club's former captain Paul Lambert that the Tottenham Hotspur loanee can be a big player for Ange Postecoglou's men in their Europa League opener away to Real Betis this week. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

He added: “It was close because there were a few moving parts.

“There were some players we needed to move on at the time. People forget that Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie didn’t leave until late on.

“Thankfully for us, we were able to get Cameron over the line at the last minute. It was a bit of a leap of faith for him, as he didn’t have much time to think about it.

“But I’m sure he’d say now it has been a great move for him, and it’s been a great move for the club.

“The logical thing for all parties was to do a loan or we wouldn’t have got the deal done. January gives us an opportunity to look at our squad again.

“Part of that discussion will be around players we have on loan and seeing what decisions we want to make on them.”

Celtic's Tom Rogic is peerless in the Scottish game when he turns it on, as he did in the 3-1 win away to St Johnstone. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The reaction to last Wednesday’s slip-up sent sections of the Parkhead faithful into a mini-meltdown but Postecoglou has refused to press the panic button as the 2021/22 season passes the halfway point.

Injuries to key players and Covid issues sparked a “chaotic” couple of day prior to Christmas meant a number of the club’s Academy players were called up for first-team duty.

Postecoglou stated: “If there is one thing the first half of the season has shown us it’s that we need a stronger squad. It was never going to happen after just one window.

“If anyone thought we were going to have a squad robust enough and with the quality to tackle what we want to tackle in one window then they were kidding themselves.

“We have things to do in this window, and we have been working on that for quite a while. There is nothing that has changed at the last minute.

“I get it, the six-point gap is people’s reference point, but I can’t control that. All we can control is our own destiny.

“What we know is if we continue with similar form to what we have shown over the last two-and-a-half months into the second half of the year then we will give ourselves a chance.

“I am not going to stress or worry about what I can’t control. I can’t control what other teams do, whether they are above us or below us.

“On a matchday the only thing we can control are the games we play in, Our form over the last few months has been good.

“There’s no doubt we had a slow start to the season which has meant that we are not in the ideal position, where we wanted t be but if we continue the way we have been we will give ourselves an opportunity.”