Plymouth Argyle is closing in on a deal for Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard, after agreeing on a six-figure fee with future add-ons, according to reports from the Daily Record.
The 25-year-old is coming off the back of a successful loan spell in Finland, and is set to leave the Scottish Premiership champions after nine years with the club. Hoping to play more regular football with the newly promoted Championship side, Hazard with be making the switch to battle out with talented shot-stopper Michael Copper.
Who Is Conor Hazard?
Making the move at the age of 16 to leave his home country of Northern Ireland for Celtic, it took Hazard three years before he was promoted to the first team. Spending time as the third-choice goalkeeper, the six-foot-six man spent several years out on loan in Scotland’s second division, playing for the likes of Falkirk, Patrick Thistle and Dundee.
Struggling to get consistent game time throughout multiple loans, Hazard had his best season to date with HJK Helsinki, winning Finland’s top division and being rewarded the league’s top shot-stopper.
Competition Between The Sticks
Only making seven appearances for Celtic over the course of his time there, the goalkeeper will likely start the season as the Pilgrims’ number one. With Micheal Copper set to miss the start of the season due to his knee injury in February rolling over to the new campaign, Hazard will have time to make an impression on manager Steven Schumacher.
However, with Cooper one of the best at his level after being included in the League One Team of the Season for the last two years, Hazard will face a challenge to earn the number one shirt on a permanent basis.
If Plymouth can confirm the signing of Hazard, it will be good for both the present and future. Due to Copper’s return date remaining unknown, Hazard should get an opportunity to start in the Championship, however, it should be said this will be some of the toughest competition he would have faced.
Looking further down the line, with Cooper attracting interest from Premier League and Championship teams, if a move was to present itself in the future Hazard could potentially be the replacement waiting in line.