CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS has emerged as a priority permanent signing for Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.
The Spurs centre-back agreed a season-long deal just before the August transfer window closed.
However, if there had been more time, Postecoglou revealed he would have been eager to get the £6million-rated defender on a long-term contract.
The 23-year-old US international has become a key figure in the Hoops rearguard that mad conceded a Scrooge-like 11 goals in 19 Premiership games this season and Carter-Vickers will be in action again this afternoon against St Johstone in Perth as the Parkhead club bring down the curtain on an eventful 2021.
Asked if he aimed to keep Carter-Vickers, Postecoglou answered: “Absolutely. I wouldn’t have brought him in if I thought it was just a short-term thing.
“All the players we have brought in, we have done so with some thought around building a team.
“And building a team means more than just 12 months. A lot of that depends on the player himself.
“But those discussions will happen over the next couple of months. January gives us an opportunity to look at our squad again.
“We can have a think about what we want to do in this window and beyond.
“Part of that discussion will be around players we have on loan and seeing what decisions we want to make on them.
“If the players are happy here and want to stay here, we will get round to those discussions.”
Postecoglou also revealed Carter-Vickers’ former Spurs team-mate Joe Hart, who signed a three-year deal when he arrived in a £1million switch at the start of August, could miss out against rock-bottom Saints.
The 34-year-old 75 times-capped England international netminder sat out the goalless draw against St Mirren in Paisley with Scott Bain in charge of the gloves.
The Hoops boss, speaking to the Sunday Mail, continued: “It’s hard to say if anyone will be back for the game against St Johnstone, but I don’t think so.
“There may be one or two who are close, but at this stage don’t expect any significant change to the team that was out on Wednesday night.
“Joe was unavailable, injured from last weekend. He will probably miss this one, as well. It’s nothing serious and we expect quite a few back after the break.”
Celtic trail Rangers by six points in the title race and Postecoglou is short on bodies, but hopes his players can give him one last push before the three-week winter break.
He added: “There is no doubt that we have had a really solid run of fixtures and been challenged by quite a significant injury list.
“Through that we have tried to maintain a certain level of performance and commitment, which has been good up until Wednesday night when we were disappointed not to get the job done.
“There is still one more game, so we have to be ready for it and perform at the levels we can.”