Celtic will do everything in their power to sign Fraser Forster on a permanent deal in the summer.
The former England keeper has been in tremendous form since returning north on loan from Southampton at the start of the season.
He was Man of the Match in the Hoops’ win over Rangers in the League Cup Final with a string of saves to deny Alfredo Morelos and Co.
He has also been key in the club’s long European campaign, with his latest contribution a stunning penalty save against Copenhagen last Thursday night.
And while Celtic know they have his services until the end of the season, they desperately want to keep the 31-year-old beyond then.
The Hoops hope Southampton – who paid £10 million to sign Forster from the Hoops six years ago – will let him go in a cut-price deal.
His contract with the English club is due to run until 2022 but they hadn’t been using him prior to letting him go north on loan and may opt simply to let Celtic buy him out.
The overall move would still cost millions, but that would not be a problem with the keeper having generated plenty of revenue this season through his performances.
“If there is a deal to be done, the club can produce something and a deal between Southampton and Fraser is possible, then I’m pretty sure we would try to do it,” said Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy.
“If Fraser became available we would want him. He has been terrific and made big saves at the big moments.
“He has either got us a positive result or kept us in the game.
“To be fair to him and Stevie Woods (Celtic’s goalkeeping coach), they do their homework.
“In Denmark, the plan was if Jens Stage was going to take the penalty, we had an idea where it was going to go – and the big man made the save.
“Southampton will have their say in the summer, so we’ve got to stay focused between now and the end of the season then see if something can be done.”
Celtic would, Kennedy added, be fully confident the player would want the move.
“Speaking to him in-house, it’s no secret he loves being here,” he said.
“He enjoys the atmosphere, loves the club and what the fans bring.
“I think he appreciates everything he has here. There is an admiration for him, not just within the club but from the supporters too.
“He is well thought of by everyone and he appreciates that.”