Former Rangers boss Alex McLeish has warned Celtic target George Baldock that the Scottish club’s fanbase will “be expecting really high levels of quality” from him should he join from Sheffield United.
The Blades defender has reportedly been on Celtic’s radar since 2019 but following their relegation to the Championship, he is on a list of transfer targets that has been shown to and approved by new Bhoys boss Ange Postecoglou.
It is understood that the Scottish club are prepared to spend between £5 million and £8 million for Baldock, which is expected to be well below the figure that United would demand.
Should the two clubs reach an agreement, McLeish has warned the 28-year-old that expectations will be high.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “Celtic fans will be looking for the big names.
“Ok, George has been a tried and tested Premier League player for the last couple of years with Sheffield United and got promotion the year before.
“The Celtic fans will still be expecting really high levels of quality from George.
“If he’s fallen down the pecking order at Sheffield United does he qualify for a starting place in the Celtic team? Ok, he may feel it’s a lower level than where he’s been playing at and he’ll cope no bother at all. The possibilities are that are true.”
Baldock has been a key player for the Blades since joining from MK Dons in 2017.
Primarily featuring as a right wing-back, the defender has amassed 139 appearances for the Yorkshire club in that time – helping them win promotion to the Premier League in 2018/19.
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McLeish certainly knows the SPFL, having played and managed in the Scottish top tier, so you feel the Blades player should heed his warning.
Expectations are always likely to be high when a club spends upwards of £8 million to sign a player and it seems that’s what it may cost Celtic to prize Baldock away from Bramall Lane this summer.
You do feel he’s got the quality to thrive in the SPFL and as we’ve seen with other full-backs or wing-backs in the past, the move could see him become more dangerous going forward.