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Postecoglou signing gives Nawrocki the green light to complete Celtic move

Maik Nawrocki put in a phone call to Josip Juranovic before jumping on his flight to Glasgow to complete his transfer to Celtic.

Just under two years ago Juranovic was making the same move as Ange Postecoglou turned to Poland for a right-back to replace Jeremie Frimpong after Jonjo Kenny had came up well short while on loan from Everton.

Ironically all three finished last season in the Bundesliga.

Nawrocki and Juranovic were briefly team-mates at Legia with the young defender keeping an eye on how the Croatian flourished with last season seeing Juranovic play in the Champions League, World Cup Finals and Bundesliga within a 10 month spell.

Since Thursday afternoon things have been fast-moving between Celtic and Nawrocki, picking up on them Stephen McGowan explained the Juranovic angle in the Daily Mail:

Nawrocki, 22, was left out of Legia Warsaw’s squad for Friday night’s Ekstraklasa curtain-raiser against LKS Lodz, and instead flew to Glasgow to undergo a medical and complete a £4million move.

Senior sources at Legia Warsaw told Mail Sport the Scottish champions and Turkish giants Galatasaray were vying for the player’s signature.

A phone call to Croatian international Juranovic – who was the last player to leave Legia for Celtic – convinced the former Werder Bremen defender that joining the Scottish champions would be good for his career.

Full-back Juranovic, who quit Parkhead for Union Berlin after last year’s World Cup, offered a glowing report on life at Celtic.

And the structure of Celtic’s offer – incorporating a hefty sell-on fee – prompted Legia boss Kosta Runjaic to admit there was a ‘serious offer’ on the table for the coveted young defender.

If all goes to plan Nawrocki can start training at Lennoxtown on Monday as he waits for his new team-mates to return from Japan.

Brendan Rodgers will get a second look at his squad this morning in the match against Gamba Osaka with the defence of particular interest after losing six goals to Yokohama F Marinos.

He was hardly over-looked while he was playing but in his absence the importance of Cameron Carter-Vickers to the Celtic defence has been underlined.

The former Spurs defender hasn’t played since his heroic performance in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup at the end of April, within two days he was undergoing knee surgery.

No real timeline was laid out for Carter-Vickers to return other than a vague 3-4 months which excluded him from the critical pre-season period that combines all out fitness work with being eased back into action through friendly matches.

Carter-Vickers won’t have the luxury of coming through friendly matches but the opening SPFL rota that includes Pittodrie and Ibrox can’t be avoided.

With that in mind it looks like Nawrocki will be the first significant signing made by Rodgers as he looks to reinforce his squad and have them Champions League ready.

Retaining their domestic dominance will never be taken for granted with Rodgers having a flawless record in Scottish football first time around.

Barry Robson and Micky Beale have both been active in the transfer market with their timeline more demanding due to UEFA qualifiers during August.

Rodgers has given his approval for the signings of Odin Thiago Holm and Marco Tilio but those moves were well underway before the change of manager. The same applies to the deals for Yang Hyun-jun and Kwon Hyeok-kyu.

From a position of strength, confirmed to the Stock Market earlier this month, there is an expectation on Rodgers to pick up on the handover from Postecoglou and strengthen Celtic into a more competitive side in Europe as well as staying in front in Scotland.

Celtic did well out of Juranovic even if his fee to Union Berlin looked to be on the light side but perhaps the signing of Nawrocki could be an unexpected add-on.

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