Celtic new signings: Confirmed ins and outs for summer 2023

The transfer window is open but who are the Celtic new signings? It is still a month until the Scottish Premiership returns, but it has already been a tumultuous summer for the champions.

Treble-winning manager Ange Postecoglu has left Glasgow’s east end for North London and the Tottenham Hotspur job.

This has seen the return of Brendan Rodgers to the Celtic hot seat after leaving it in 2019. He has not been out of the game long since his sacking by Leicester City in March and, despite some factions of the Celtic support still unhappy about the manner of his exit just over four years ago, the County Antrim native will be hoping to replicate his first trophy-laden spell with the club.

The Hoops did receive a boost when Japanese stars Kyogo Furahashi and Daizen Maeda signed new long-term deals despite reported interest from their old boss.

These may be the two biggest Celtic new signings this summer but below are the confirmed ins and outs at the club so far.

Celtic new signings: Summer 2023 arrivals

Maik Nawrocki (Legia Warsaw)

Maik Nawrocki takes the title of the most expensive transfer coming into Celtic this summer. Celtic recently signed Nawrocki for a fee of €5 million, which is over €1.5 million more than the next most expensive transfer. So of course, with that being the case, Celtic clearly value Nawrocki and what he can bring to the club. Speaking of which, Nawrocki has been brought in to be a rock at the back for Celtic. The 22-year-old has played at clubs including Werder Bremen and Legia Warsaw in his relatively short career, yet now, he is officially part of the Scottish Premiership with Celtic.

Nawrocki Celtic new signings

And at 6 ft 1 inch tall, Nawrocki is a strong defender that is capable of also getting on the end of set pieces at the other end of the pitch.

Gustaf Lagerbielke (Elfsborg)

Of the Celtic new signings that have come through in recent times, Gustaf Lagerbielke is the second most expensive, following on from Maik Nawrocki. As for the exact fee, Celtic inked Lagerbielke from Elfsborg for a reported fee of €3.4 million, which is still a decent sum of money. Lagerbielke is expected to come in and play an important first-team role alongside Nawrocki. And given that he is also just 23 years of age, he has plenty of time to grow with the club and help them to multiple successes. 

This is clearly the plan since Celtic have signed Lagerbielke on a five-year deal, which will keep him at the club until he is 28 years of age if he sees things through. Additionally, with Lagerbielke recently getting the call-up to represent Sweden on the international stage, he’s obviously a very promising young player.

Odin Thiago Holm (Valerenga)

Reports suggest that the 20-year-old Norwegian midfielder legally added his middle name in 2017 as a homage to his favourite player, current Liverpool and Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara, and there are similarities in their style of play.

Before completing his move to Parkhead, he has already made 76 appearances for Valerenga, including all ten of this season’s Eliteserien fixtures. Reports suggest that he is a player that the club’s scouts have been monitoring for some time.

Clips of him performing backflips while controlling a ball between his legs have gone viral and have excited fans. How quickly the Norway youth international can impose himself on the first team remains to be seen, but he is certainly an exciting prospect.

Marco Tilio (Melbourne City)

While Postecoglu has moved on, the Australian influence at Celtic continues as the club has broken an A-League transfer record to bring in forward Tilio for £1.5million. At just 21, he was an unused member of Australia’s World Cup squad after replacing Hibernian’s Martin Boyle and was part of Melbourne City’s back-to-back-to-back A-League title-winning squads.

Tilio can operate as a winger or forward and scored 13 in 36 games in last season’s A-League and will hope to follow in the successful footsteps of his fellow countrymen Tom Rogic and Aaron Mooy while Harry Kewell is currently a first-team coach at the club.

Hyun-jun Yang (Gangwon FC)

While Celtic has concentrated largely on signing defenders and midfielders this summer, they haven’t ignored the front of the park. In fact, with Hyun-jun Yang being one of two Celtic new signings that play as a winger, Celtic are clearly looking to boost this part of the team. Additionally, they’ve maintained focus on bringing in young players too, as Hyun-jun Yang is just 21 years of age. Therefore, he could well grow with the other confirmed signings for Celtic, including guys like Lagerbielke, Nawrocki, and Thiago Holm. 

Yang Celtic new signings

As for his signing fee and contract, Hyun-jun Yang was signed for a price of €2.5 million on a five-year deal. This is the exact contract length for many of the other Celtic new signings this summer.

Luis Palma (Aris Saloniki)

23-year-old left-wing Luis Palma will play for the Bhoys from now on. The former Aris Saloniki superstar arrived at Celtic Park penning a five-year deal with the famous Scottish team. Celtic had to pay the Greek side a staggering €4.75m for Palma’s services, but the Honduras player has the quality to prove his worth sooner rather than later under coach Brendan Rodgers’ guidance.

During the 2022/23 Greek Super League season, Luis Palma made a total of 29 appearances for Aris Saloniki, scoring 11 goals and assisting on four occasions. Luis Palma definitely made a huge step in the right direction in his career by signing for Celtic.

Hyeok-kyu Kwon (Busan IPark)

Coach Brendan Rodgers thought his midfield needed strengthening and the Hoops’ board acted swiftly by signing Hyeok-kyu Kwon from Busan IPark. The K League 2 side got a basic €1.0m pay for their player. The South Korean will strut his stuff at Celtic Park for the next four years. Hopefully, Hyeok-kyu Kwon will be able to get enough minutes under coach Brendan Rodgers’ rule.

Tomoki Iwata (Yokohama F.M.)

26-year-old Tomoki Iwata joins the Bhoys on a season-long loan deal with an obligation to buy at the end of the season. The initial sum that Yokohama F.M. will get for their defensive midfielder is only €960k but that number will rise rapidly at the end of the campaign when Celtic are forced to buy. Tomoki Iwata is a Player of the Year for Ange Postecoglu’s former club Yokohama F.M. He’ll definitely be a valuable asset for the club from Scotland.

Nathaniel Phillips (Liverpool)

Nathaniel Phillips Transfer
Photo by Icon sport

26-year-old English defender Nathaniel Phillips isn’t getting any minutes under coach Jurgen Klopp’s rule. That’s why he was sent on a loan at Celtic Park. The deal will see Nathaniel Phillips with the Bhoys’ jersey for the first part of the 2023/24 season only. Nathaniel will return to Anfield in January.

Paulo Bernardo (Celtic)

Paulo Bernardo, 21, is the latest player to pen a deal with the Hoops. He swapped Benfica for Celtic on the 1st of September, when he negotiated a season-long loan with the club from Scotland. Brendan Rodgers will monitor Bernardo’s development, and should the 21-year-old prove to be a valuable asset, Celtic have the option to buy the Portuguese starlet.

Celtic's transfer departures

Jota (Al-Ittihad)

The Portugal youth international arrived in Glasgow in the summer of 2021 on loan from Benfica as a relative unknown. However, in two seasons with the club, he became a firm fan favourite.

Despite Celtic only triggering his release clause a year ago for a five-year deal, the winger was unable to resist the allure of Saudi Arabia and has joined Karim Benzema and Ngolo Kante at Nuno Espirito Santo’s champions Al-Ittihad.

He won a double in his first season and a treble last year and scored many crucial goals in his time at Celtic Park. Not least, the delicate chip and subsequently raised fist celebration in the 4-0 Old Firm victory in September 2022. Celtic fans were heartbroken when the signing was confirmed but the financial implications for both player and club were undoubtedly big factors.

Carl Starfelt (Celta de Vigo)

In terms of Celtic transfer departures, it’s obvious that Jota was the most significant of the bunch. However, Carl Starfelt also went for a reasonable sum of money – €5 million, to be exact. Given that Starfelt is a central defender, it’s clear that Celtic has made moves to replace him with the additions of Lagerbielke and Nawrocki. And to be honest, this is an ideal switch-up, as Starfelt is 28 years old while the two new guys are in their early 20s.

Adam Montgomery (Fleetwood Town – loan)

After spending last season on loan in Perth with St Johnstone, the English fullback has made another temporary move away from Celtic Park. This time, he will be playing in League 1 on the Lancashire coast under Celtic club legend Scott Brown.

The 20-year-old made his senior debut for the club in 2021 but has struggled to make an impact on the first-team squad since and, having spent the second half of the 2021/22 season at Aberdeen, this is his third loan spell away from the club in as many seasons.
With Montgomery working under his former captain, Brendan Rodgers will undoubtedly keep a close eye on him as he tries to help the Highbury club improve on their 13th-place finish in Brown’s first season in charge last year.

Aaron Mooy (Retired)

Celtic new signings

Photo by Icon Sport

It was quite a shock to everyone connected with Celtic and Scottish football in general when Australian international Aaron Mooy announced his retirement from football at the end of June at just 32. The former Manchester City, Brighton and Huddersfield Town midfielder only joined Celtic from Shanghai Port at the start of last season and still had a year left on his contract but decided the time was right to call an end to his career.

Mooy played a pivotal role in the Bhoys’ treble success playing 41 games in all competitions as well as helping Australia to the knockout stages of the World Cup in Qatar. He was predicted to be a key man again this year for Rodgers, who said he was “disappointed” at the decision but also “delighted that Aaron was able to make this decision on his own terms”.

Vasilios Barkas (Released)

The Greek goalkeeper arrived in Glasgow in the summer of 2020 from AEK Athens for a not-insignificant £4.5m fee but had a miserable time with the club. He spent last season on loan with Dutch side Utrecht and came second in their player of the year voting but returned to his parent club with a year still left on his contract.

However, despite no official announcement from the club, Barkas himself revealed that his contract has been mutually terminated to allow him to find new opportunities. He made just 24 appearances during his time with the Celts, which means each appearance cost the club just over £280,000.

With Joe Hart having made the Celtic gloves his own since joining from Tottenham in 2021 and Scott Bain and Conor Hazard as reliable back-ups, Barkas found himself the odd man out.

Albian Ajeti (Gaziantep FK)

Swiss-Albanian Albian Ajeti opened a new chapter in his professional career by signing for Turkish club Gaziantep FK back in August. Celtic received a €585k pay for their player’s services but the fact that the club will no longer have to pay his hefty wage was definitely a good added bonus to this deal.

Conor Hazard (Plymouth Argyle)

Coming from Northern Ireland, Conor Hazard is a player who just couldn’t make it into Celtic’s starting XI. The 25-year-old is still a top-notch player, and he’ll get a chance to rekindle his career by playing for in-form Plymouth Argyle. Celtic will receive only €175k for this deal.