Sunderland are set to lose leading scorer Charlie Wyke, with Celtic the beneficiaries according to the Northern Echo.
Wyke had been generating significant interest this summer, as his Sunderland contract expires and he becomes a free agent. Lee Johnson has been eager to keep him in the north east, offering a new deal, whilst Nottingham Forest Millwall and CSKA Moscow have all been credited with interest.
However, Wyke is set to snub the Championship sides, and any others interested in him, in order to join Scottish giants Celtic. They confirmed Australian Ange Postecoglou as their new manager last week, and are now hopeful of adding the 28-year-old to their ranks as a focal point for their attack.
Middlesborough born Wyke began his career with his hometown club, but had loan spells with Kettering, Hartlepool and Wimbledon before a move to Carlisle in 2015. He was a huge hit at Brunton Park, scoring 39 times in 89 appearances before a move to Bradford City. He hit 23 in 62 for them, including a goal within 15 minutes of making his debut, before Sunderland swooped with a deal thought to be worth £600,000, rising to £1m. It wasn’t always rosy at the Stadium of Light, he scored five in 30 during an injury-hit opening season, then just six in 30 during the curtailed 2019/20 campaign.
This season he came good for the Black Cats, scoring 30 times in 49 outings as they won the Papa John’s Trophy and made it to the League One play-off semi-finals. He now looks ser to step up once again, this time to the SPFL where Celtic are keen to reclaim the title they lost to Rangers, having previously won it nine years in a row.
Will Wyke fit at Celtic? If you want a striker who has minimal input other than scoring goals, then yes. He’s not a bad all-round player, but his strength is getting on the end of crosses and being in the right place at the right time. In an age where the number nine often has to work outside the box, Wyke is a dying breed, the typical striker who can do nothing for 88 minutes, but bag two goals and earn you a win.
If Celtic get the right ball into him, he could be another John Hartson or Chris Sutton, not so prolific in England but a revelation in the green and white. He’s a bit like Hartson in his play, combative, niggly and just as likely to be booked as he is to score, but he would certainly be a decent acquisition for free.