As the Eddie Howe saga seems to be coming to a head in the next week or so, Celtic have been told that if they want defensive target Mario Vuskovic, they must pay the six million Euro price tag slapped on his head.
Celtic, along with Torino have expressed a serious interest in the Hadjuk Split defender but so far, only Torina have placed a bid on the table of four million Euro’s which was promptly knocked back by the Croation club.
Italian news outlet TuttomercatoWeb have since reported that if any club wish to obtain the services of the highly rated Croat, they must pay the six millions Euro’s asking price (£5.2m) and must allow a sell on clause to be attached to any future deal.
Vuskovic has made over fifty appearances for Hadjuk but has so far failed to win any silverware with the club. However, he has cemented his place in the Croatian u21 side where he recently starred in a 2-2 draw against Scotland u21’s.
It remains to be seen whether or not Celtic will match the price quoted by Hadjuk or even be able to afford such a move due to the global pandemic, but with a massive clearout expected in the summer, there could be significant funds be made available to the new manager as long as any fee’s collated is invested straight into the team and not the balance sheet.
It was always thought that Ryan Christie still had a full year left of his contract to run and it seemed almost CERTAIN that the Hoops star would be sold in the summer as he looks set to take on a new challenge.
Today, a report has warned that Christie is free to talk to clubs in the summer as his current contract expires in January and not June next year as previously thought.
This will be a bitter blow to the Celtic board as Christie, once touted for a £10m move to Nice back in November last year, could now move for free in January as clubs can now come courting the midfielder as soon as July kicks in.
Christie has also been linked with big money moves to Arsenal and Burnley but this news now means if anyone wanted to take the Scotland star in the summer, Celtic would be need to accept a heavily reduced fee or be forced to lose him for free.
With the Euro’s approaching and Christie, barring injury, guaranteed to play in the blockbuster tournament, he has the opportunity to turn on the style and hike up his wage demands whilst the Celtic board can only look on with regret.
Whoever at board level is responsible for allowing this situation to come to light, never mind get to this point, should be hauled over the coals for this multi million pound blunder.
At the time, it was one of the weirdest transfer stories to make the headlines in Scotland. Ben Davies was said to have agreed and signed a pre-contract agreement to come to Celtic in July from Preston North End.
The media hype and the fact that then Celtic gaffer, Neil Lennon, had spoken about the deal being done and it was met with relative excitement amongst the Hoops fans.
A few days later and an injury hit Liverpool come and take Davies from under Celtic’s noses when they paid a reported £1.6m to lure the big centre half to the Kop as The Reds looked to cover the central defensive issues due to injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez
Fast forward almost five months later and Davies is yet to appear in a Liverpool jersey as the move to the Premier League seems to be an ill fated error of judgement for the Englishman.
The Daily Express have reported that Jurgen Klopp is now close to sealing a £30m move for RB Leipzig’s 21 year old French defender Ibrahima Konte and have hinted that if the move is completed, this could pave the way for CEltic to reopen negotiations to finally bring Davies to Paradise.
With the central defence being a serious issue this season for the Hoops, bringing in Davies to help shore up the holes at the back will certainly be a step in the right direction for the Parkhead giants.
Almost two years to the day since young Karamoko Dembele was given his first team debut at home against Hearts at Celtic Park and since then, the young winger has been nowhere to be seen.
The tricky midfielder made a rare substitute appearance against Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Wednesday and certainly looked lively when he played.
For me, it has been a mystery how the young man has not kicked on and staked a claim in the team, especially since James Forrest has been out injured in the last five months and with width in the side clearly being an issue this year, surely this was young Karamoko’s chance to shine? So why hasn’t he?
Speaking on Clyde 1 Superscoreboard, ex Celtic defender Mark Wilson agreed and warned that Dembele’s future at Celtic may still come to an end, “I wanted to see Dembele more often this season. He’s been a bit of a strange one, he seemed an absolute wonder kid on the face of it.
“He burst into the side at the tail end of the season before and you’re thinking, we’re gonna see this kid cat at his best. He is going to be drip fed into the team.
“He wasn’t even making squads and by all accounts, it looks like he’s heading out the door. I would like to see him at least three games that don’t mean anything, why not play him?”
With young Dembele’s contract due to expire at the end of the season, would more first team exposure be enough to persuade him to extend his stay at the Hoops or did his flashes of brilliance and trickery flatter to deceive?
There is no about the excitement that surrounded young Demebele has possibly set fan expectations too high, but can we really afford to lose yet another young talent for free?