FRASER FORSTER still has two-and-a-half years to run on his lucrative £70,000-per-week contract at Southampton.
Celtic will face the problem at the end of the season of matching that massive wage packet – which would mean forking out £9.1million – or, at least, reaching some sort of compromise with the popular keeper and his Premier League club.
The Saints paid £10million to lure the Eng;land international No.1 from Parkhead in 2014 after he had persuaded Neil Lennon to part with £2million to make his switch from Newcastle permanent after two impressive loan campaigns.
Forster agreed the lucrative pay deal in the 2015/16 season when there was reported interest from Manchester United with Spanish shotstopper David De Gea apparently being eyed by Real Madrid.
However, the 6ft 7in netminder dropped down the pecking order at the south coast outfit when ex-boss Mark Hughes splashed £13.5million on 23-year-old Angus Gunn from Manchester City and promoted Alex McCarthy to the stand-by slot.
But, Forster’s form has soared again since returning on a season-long loan deal in August and he emphasised his resurgence last week in the historic Europa League triumph over Lazio at the Olympic stadium, the Hoops; first win on Italian soil in 13 attempts.
The eight-in-a-row champions, who are reportedly picking up half his weekly income, will have a big decision to make in the summer. To cover his existing wages they will have to pay a spectacular £9.1million.
Southampton, too, would want a transfer fee for the 31-year-old custodian which could be in the region of £6million which would take the total package to £15.1million.
It will be a huge decision for the Parkhead hierarchy who also face deputy Craig Gordon walking away at the end of the campaign when his current contract expires.