Forgotten flop Celtic keeper Vasilis Barkas will return to Parkhead in the summer after Utrecht confirmed they cannot afford to buy the Greek shotstopper.

Barkas joined the Dutch club on loan in the summer and has been widely praised for his performances in the Eredivisie, despite his time in Glasgow being disastrous.

The 28-year-old cost Celtic £4.5 million from AEK Athens in 2020 and still has a year and a half to go of his lucrative contract in Scotland, despite having no future under Ange Postecoglou.

Utrecht would have loved to have turned the loan deal for the 13-times capped keeper into a permanent transfer, but the club's technical director Jordy Zuidam admits that won't be possible.

He said: "We have to talk about realistic purchase options.

"A club like FC Utrecht, which cannot afford huge transfer amounts, has to be creative. By loaning players first, we buy time.

"Vasilis Barkas will return to Celtic and he is too expensive for FC Utrecht."

Barkas has made 21 appearances for Utrecht since his move and has helped them challenge for a European spot.


Ange Postecoglou insisted that he has not paid any attention to the “noise” of Leeds speculation after watching Celtic beat St Mirren 5-1 in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup at Parkhead.

The Hoops boss is rumoured to on the radar of the Elland Road club who last week parted company with Jesse Marsch amid a Premier League relegation battle.

Celtic eventually overcame a spirited Saints side with goals from Daizen Maeda, a Reo Hatate double – one from the penalty spot after Buddies defender Richard Taylor was sent off for handball – a first Hoops goal for Oh Hyeon-gyu and a Matt O’Riley strike.

Mark O’Hara scored a consolation goal for the visitors and afterwards, when asked what he would say to any Celtic fans who might be concerned, the Hoops boss referred to his usual way of dealing with speculation.

“I don’t think I need to say anything to them,” said Postecoglou, who revealed top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi will go for a scan on a shoulder injury after he was replaced by Liel Abada in the first half.

“I think what the supporters want is to make sure I’m focused on preparing the team every week to win games of football and to play football that’s going to excite them and make them proud. That’s my responsibility.

“I get the excitement round things like that. If I had a player in a similar boat I’d just tell him, ‘keep playing your football and don’t worry about anything else, all those kinds of things are just noise’.

“I take my own advice on stuff like that. I’ve been around the game long enough to know how quickly it changes.

“If anyone thinks for the last seven days I’ve thought about anything but preparing the team to play today then obviously they haven’t got a clear idea of what I’m about.”