Real Madrid goalkeeper on Celtic transfer ‘wishlist’ as Hoops scouting team weigh up Joe Hart replacement options

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The Scottish champions have identified the Ukrainian international as a potential replacement for Hart.

Celtic are reportedly keeping tabs on Real Madrid back-up goalkeeper Andriy Lunin - with the club’s recruitment team considering a long-term replacement for current No.1 Joe Hart.

The Ukrainian international - capped nine times by his country - started the European giants’ first two La Liga games of the season against Athletic Bilbao and Almeria but hasn’t featured since and is understood to be growing frustrated by his lack of game time.

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According to the Daily Record, the 24-year-old was previously on the Hoops transfer radar earlier this summer but the Spanish outfit were reluctant to sell at the time after he filled in for injured first-choice stopper Thibaut Courtois during those opening two matches.

Lunin had aspirations of becoming the number one in the future but the arrival of Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizbalaga on a season-long loan has limited his minutes and seen him drop back to the bench. That is understood to have led Lunin to consider his situation in the Spanish capital and has put the Scottish champions on red alert as they consider a possible transfer swoop

Celtic’s scouting department have been busy identifying targets with 36-year-old Hart out of contract at the end of the season. The Englishman has faced some criticism this season after making a few high-profile mistakes and doubts have been raised over a perceived lack of ability with the ball at his feet.

The club are understood to still be keeping a close eye and doing their analysis on Lunin who has been on the books at Madrid since 2018 after signing from Zorya Luhansk in his homeland. He follows Liverpool No.2 Caoimhin Kelleher in being linked with a move to Parkhead.

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In that time, Lunin has managed only 19 first-team appearances but gained valuable top team experience during loan spells at Leganes, Valladolid and Oviedo. He became the first Ukrainian player to feature in an El Clasico against Barcelona in October 2022.

If Hart was moved on by manager Brendan Rodgers next summer, that would leave his two understudy’s Benjamin Siegrist and Scott Bain - neither of whom have laid down a serious marker to challenge for the No.1 spot.

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