As someone who is considered a legend at Anfield after winning three league titles and a European Cup in red, and who still offers his insight as a pundit on their club’s television channel, the last thing Gary Gillespie wants to see is Liverpool losing good players.

If it was to his beloved Celtic though, that might just soften the blow.

Gillespie himself swapped Merseyside for Glasgow’s East End as a player, and while his own dream move to his boyhood heroes didn’t quite work out the way he would have wanted, he is sure that conditions may just be set fair for a current member of the Reds’ squad to thrive at Celtic Park.

That man is goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, currently second choice to one of the world’s best in Alisson Becker, but at 25 and as a full international with the Republic of Ireland, fast outgrowing the role.

Just as Kelleher stands at that career crossroads, a vacancy appears to be opening up for a number one at Celtic. Joe Hart will be 37 in April, and with his contract due to expire in the summer, there will likely be a chance for someone to come in and make that position their own. Talent, meet opportunity.

It is no surprise to Gillespie then that Kelleher is being touted for the role as Celtic’s main man between the sticks, potentially for years to come. And he can absolutely see why the move would be appealing to him.

“He’s in a very difficult situation,” Gillespie said.

“If he wants to further his career, you’d have to think that he has to move elsewhere.

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“It’s never easy being a number two goalkeeper at any football club, but especially with the talent he’s got, it must be really difficult for him.

“The only thing that has been fortunate for him is that Liverpool have been doing well in cup competitions and the Europa League, so he does get some game time in the cups.

“But come the crunch, he’s not going to play that many games in the Premier League unless Alisson is out injured. He is the best goalkeeper in the world, in my opinion.

“There is no doubting his own ability though, he is a top-quality goalkeeper, and he would obviously get even better from playing on a regular basis. He is a top-class goalkeeper, and if I’m being honest, I think now he is too good probably to be a second-choice.

“He has to think about international football as well. If you want to represent your country, then you need to be playing regularly, and he is not doing that at this moment in time.

“He’s still very young for a goalkeeper, and the fact he has been getting some caps for the Republic of Ireland even at this early age shows that the ability is there.

“He would certainly benefit though from playing on a regular basis, and what better club to go to than Celtic? Especially if you want to be playing for the Republic of Ireland as well.

“Any time he comes into the side, people down here are always talking about how good he is and the fact that he has never let Liverpool down, and the feeling is that he is too good to be a number two goalkeeper.

“Certainly, that is the general consensus down here, but at the end of the day it will be down to him. Him and his agent will get together with the club and make the decision that is best for him, but I don’t think he can stay as a number two for much longer if he wants to further his career.”

Purely from a footballing perspective, then, a move to Celtic makes perfect sense in Gillespie’s mind.

“I think he’s got to look at it and weigh it all up,” he said.

“He would be playing for a fantastic football club in Celtic, and who are obviously going to be up there challenging for things on a regular basis.

“I am sure he will be a Celtic supporter as well, which always helps, so I think it could be a good move for him.”

As immersed as he is in the English game though, Gillespie knows all too well that clubs north of the border – even the very biggest ones – can’t compete with even the lower lights of the English Premier League when it comes to finances.

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Therein, may lie the rub. It has been reported that Liverpool will be looking for as much as £20m in order to allow Kelleher to leave in the summer, a figure that would be mere chump change for most EPL clubs, but which would shatter Celtic’s record transfer fee paid by a huge distance.

“That’s always the big issue as well, isn’t it?” he said.

“There will be other clubs down here looking at him with deep pockets, and there are wages to consider as well.

“He won’t be on a pittance, even as a number two goalkeeper at Liverpool, and he will be able to command a really good salary.

“Liverpool, I am sure, will not want to lose him, so that will be why they are putting such a price on his head. I don’t think he will come cheap. I would be surprised if they can get him even for £15m.

“From what I’ve seen of him, he could be a number one at more than a few clubs in the English Premier League, and given how much of a global business football is now I am sure there will also be clubs from abroad looking at him.

“If you’ve got the talent that he has and you are coming from a big club like Liverpool as well, then you can almost go anywhere in the world.

“So, he will have choices to make, and I’m sure him, his agent and his family will thrash it all out.

“My heart is saying he should go to Celtic, but the head is saying that might turn out a little bit different! We’ll see which comes out on top.”