Neil Lennon has opened up on the possibility of signing Fraser Forster permanently next summer, suggesting he would love to sign the 31-year-old but it will come down to “affordability.”

According to The Scotsman, Lennon admitted he’d like to sign Forster at the end of the season, but a number of discussions have to be had to discuss whether a deal is feasible or not.

It’s about affordability. That’s something we can talk about. I’ll talk to the player but first we have to make the call to Southampton and I’ll need to speak to (chief executive) Peter Lawwell about that.

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Is it beyond us? I don’t know. Would I love to do it? Of course, but we have to be realistic at times and we can’t go overboard either. We have to be prudent but we have him right now and it’s fantastic, because he’s definitely made us better.

READ CELTIC VERDICT

Signing Forster permanently is highly likely to be one of Celtic’s highest priorities at the end of the season, but there are a number of potential stumbling blocks that could prevent a deal from happening. 

Firstly, a report claimed earlier this week that Southampton believe Forster’s value to be in the region of £25million following his heroic form for Celtic, and that would certainly price the Hoops out of a move if that is true.

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Do you think Celtic can afford to sign Forster permanently?

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Next there are his high wages. The 31-year-old is said to be earning around £70,000-a-week at St Mary’s, and would require a significant pay cut if he is to move back to Glasgow permanently.

Finally it could come down to whether Forster himself wants the move, but that is unlikely to be an issue given how he has previously hinted that he would be happy to return to Parkhead on a permanent basis.