According reports as revealed by Bauyrzhan Islamkham’s agent, Celtic came close to signing the player from Kazakhstan Premier League’s Kairat Almaty.
Daguev Timur, who represents the 24-year-old, shared that the Scottish champions were set to sign Islamkham but the club pulled out of a deal as they doubted his ability to physically compete in the Scottish Premier League.
“Celtic looked at Bauyrzhan very closely and liked him a lot,” said Islamkham’s agent, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“They liked the fact he is an intelligent player and thought he was up to the standard of their club.
“But you know what British football is like and how physical it can be.
“Celtic weren’t completely convinced he would be able to handle the physical side of the game and pulled out.
“It’s a shame because in terms of ability, he has everything and is certainly technically gifted.”
Islamkham is an highly-rated attacking midfielder and is the captain of Kairat Almaty and was in superb form for his club last season.
He netted 11 goals, while creating 14 assists, for his side in 30 appearances across all competitions during the last season, which helped the club finish runners-up in the league.
Celtic getting pulled out of the deal for the attacking midfielder is a disappointing read for fans, as the player would have been a decent signing for the club. He may be playing his football in Kazakhstan but he has previously impressed in the Europa League. He was a key member of his side when Kairat Almaty eliminated Aberdeen from the Europa League three years ago, and he has only gotten better since then.
He has huge experience in the Europa League and Brendan Rodgers’ probably should have taken a chance on him. While Celtic are right to be concerned about the physical demands of their Scottish Premier League, with Islamkhan being only 24-year-old, he had plenty of time to adapt his game accordingly.