Summer 2018 | Vital Forums

Summer 2018

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#1
It's that time of the season now where Brendan and the club will be looking ahead to players coming in and going out and there are already a number of players being linked with moves away.

Scott Sinclair is being linked with both Brighton and Bournemouth. With 2 years left on his contract, he'll be a a great piece of business if sold as we'll need to be given a decent amount of cash for him! He's just turned 29 years old so while by no means past it, selling now for a good price certainly makes financial sense.

Simunovic and Boyata, while not playing their best this season, are both still attracting interest from the continent. Simunovic still has admirers in Italy.

Dorus de Vries has fallen down the pecking order thanks to Scott Bain's performances. GK seems to be a position that we're still not 100% sure on. Gordon is still No.1 once he returns form injury, but for how long? Is it a position BR will look to strengthen when he finds the right player? Simon Mignolet has been linked with a move now that he's lost his place in the Liverpool team. I wouldn't be thrilled by Mignolet as he's had some particularly high profile blunders in recent years.

Patrick Roberts - his loan is up this summer, obviously his injuries have held him back a bit this season but we know he's a special player. The problem is that is he and can he be special enough in a team like Man City? Probably not! He could be one of the best players at Celtic, a superstar, but will that be enough? If the price for him is not ridiculous, we could make it permanent and I think Roberts would be happy to join. However if other EPL teams come in with a big enough offer to Man City then he could well end up there, he's not short of admirers in England.

Odsonne Edouard - his loan is up in the summer and obviously there has been a lot of talk of whether to buy him or not. A big factor in whether or not we sign him will be whether Dembele leaves or not.

Moussa Dembele - looks increasingly likely that he will go this summer but probably not quite for the price that was talked about last summer. His form hasn't been as good this year but he's coming back onto form and that will start alerting plenty of clubs for this summer. We should still be looking for at least £15m for him.

Mikael Lustig - a bit of a cult hero at Celtic, he loves it here and has already spoken of wanting to finish his career with us. However, will BR want to keep him around? He's one of the few players who not really at any point over BR's 2 years in charge has really gotten better. At 31 he's coming towards the end of his career, especially as a RB. While he has the size to play as a CB, he doesn't always have the footballing brain to play CB, particularly bad with balls over his head, he's not aware of what's behind him. He should technically be a perfect fit for BR and our 3 at the back formation but the reality may be different. When we want to play with 4 at the back, we have Ralston coming through and he's likely to feature more next season if he stays fit. With both Hendry and Ajer more than capable of playing the RCB position, BR has youth in Lustig's positions and so his game time is going to decrease. He's also going to be at the World Cup this summer so he will not be our starting RB/RCB when the season begins.
The big question though might be who will buy him?

Cristian Gamboa - almost certainly leaving this summer. Rarely used or seen but loves living in Scotland it seems but somehow he's still the first choice RB for Costa Rica. Not really a lot to say, he's still got a year left on his contract but we probably won't even try to sell him, we'll just try and get rid of him!

Tom Rogic - entering the final year of his contract and attracting interest from other clubs after improving greatly under BR. He's still not quite a definite starter in the team but that's sometimes down to the fact he's not suited to playing against every opposition. He's been offered a new deal but he's unsure what he wants to do. If he has a good World Cup with Australia this summer, that could see even more interest in him and potentially increase our asking price as well. He's one that BR has said he will not stand in his way if he wishes to go and try his luck elsewhere.

Stuart Armstrong - In the same position as Rogic. There was a long, drawn-out contract saga last summer and he signed a year extension. Talk of a £7m valuation which if we got could be spent on splashing out on Edouard or Roberts.

There is talk of who and what BR wants to sign this summer. A striker is apparently on that list but that could be Edouard. When it comes to back-up strikers, Jack Aitchison could be our new man. He's continuing to play well for the development side and is also scoring for Scotland U19s. The 18 year old scored a double against Netherlands recently to help Scotland to a 2-0 win. My guess would be that BR will still want someone else in if we sell Dembele and even bring in Edouard.
He also apparently wants another winger. With Roberts leaving and Musonda apparently not a winger (I really think we should at least try him there) we are in need of more back-up.
Beyond that we need more CBs to help along Ajer and Hendry in their development.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#2
Trying to guess who BR is tring to sign is always difficult or who he might look at but I thought one area Celtic have always looked at, BR included, is players out of contract. So I've had a look for realistic targets who's contract is up this summer.

1. Jonathan Bamba - 22 year old - French U21 international - attacker/winger. Value - £5.4m.
International teammate to both Dembele and Ntcham, Bamba is currently playing for St Etienne where aside from a few loan spells (including last season) he has spent his entire career thus far. He's a quick, dogged attacker who can play on the wing or through the middle and actually has played as a lone striker this season too. He is a goal threat but tends to shoot from further out but is probably more of a creative player than anything. He likes to get on the ball and make passes or crosses, has the skill to beat a man before playing his pass or cross, takes the ball in well, is 2 footed and has a decent amount of pace. Where he lacks is probably his decision making, sometimes opting to shoot when really the shot isn't on! At least he's not afraid to shoot as some of the current Celtic squad have seemed to be at times this season!
His contract is up this summer and although St Etienne want him to stay, apparently his wages are far and above what they are able to pay him. He's been linked with West Ham as well as Newcastle and Huddersfield in the past year with West Ham coming closest to signing him in January. I'd be quite worried if St Etienne had a bigger budget in terms of wages than we do because to look at their team, it's not full of star players! They signed Saidy Janko from us last summer! They also took Debuchy on loan from Arsenal which suggests Janko hasn't played all that well for them.
Depending on his wage demands, we could be in the mix for him! Perhaps with a good word from Ntcham and Dembele, the chance to play in the Champions League and win trophies and develop under a top manager rather than battling against relegation in the EPL but earning more money could persuade him to come to Celtic.

 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#3
2. Diego Reyes - 25 year old - Mexican international (53 caps) - CB/DM
Reyes is perhaps a little less likely to join than others on the list. Currently playing for Porto, he's only made a dozen appearances this season. He was loaned out to Espanyol last season and excelled but said that he was determined to come back and repay Porto for bringing him to Europe and cementing a place in the team. It seems as though that hasn't happened this season. Porto are not the team of even a few seasons ago. While they are still a top team in Portugal, their performances in Europe have been well below what they've been capable of in the past. Looking through the Porto team, it's not full of the stars of previous seasons, yet they still have some very good players. It seems as though Porto have finally got to a point where they can't spend money like they used to and are having to reel in that spending and be a bit more clever about their money. That could potentially mean an exit for Reyes who clearly doesn't appear to be a main part of the manager's plans.
Valued at £5m, Reyes is a good CB, quick and mobile, reads the game well and is technically good. The problem with us trying to sign him is simple, he's probably not going to want to join us over say a team in La Liga where he had such a good loan spell with Espanyol and if he's available for free you can guarantee plenty of teams will want him this summer!
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#4
3. Achraf Hakimi - 19 year old - Morocco International - RB/RM/CB
This would be a cracking deal if we could pull this off. Hakimi is a tall RB or is even quick enough and skillful enough to play RM but also defensively good enough to play CB. He would fit into our 3 at the back system perfectly to be honest. He plays for Real Madrid and has done his whole career so far. However he's not played many times for the first team other than a few sub appearances although he did start and play the full 90mins against Spurs in both CL Group games this season. He's also out of contract this summer and you would think if he was that good and they wanted to keep him around then they'd have him signed up by now. There's not even much talk of there being problems of him refusing to sign a new contract. Like Reyes above, he'll not be short of admirers, particularly if available for free this summer and that could be where we will struggle to be in the mix. Technically we should be a great place for him to come to and play and develop further, with the opportunity of European football as well. However chances are that if he doesn't sign a new deal with Madrid, he'll end up at another Spanish team!
He's the sort of player we should be targeting though and we just need to get in quickly to make it known that we're keen! Sometimes, with some players that's a deciding factor - "who wants me the most?"
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#5
4. Adrien Thomasson - 24 year old - midfielder
Thomasson is a bit of a cross between Rogic, Armstrong and McGregor; if we're going to lose Rogic and Armstrong this summer then this guy could be a good replacement! He's got the flexibility in terms of positions he can play like McGregor, the driving ability and workrate of Armstrong and the finesse and goalscoring more like Rogic. Reports in France say that contract talks have broken down with FC Nantes so he is leaving, SM Caen tried to sign him last summer, still didn't manage in January but are apparently his only real suitor.....I find that hard to believe but if it's true then we should be able to offer something better than Caen can. Valued at £3.6m and can play anywhere across midfield he is left footed so could add some good balance to the midfield but is also very good and comfortable with his right foot. One of his teammates is in a similar situation and looks set to leave this summer but the same article suggested that he is being chased by some of the top 6 French teams in the league but they're apparently not after Thomasson. 6 goals and 4 assists is one of his best seasons in Ligue1 so far having been with Nantes for 3 seasons and Evian before that where he spent 1 season in the first team.
FC Nantes are like St Etienne, no standout star players but a team of pretty good players. They're a middle table club and currently sit 8th in the league and now have Claudio Ranieri in charge.


Have a look at some of his recent goal videos on YouTube as well!
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#6
5. Dario Maresic - 18 year old - Austrian U21 International - CB
Maresic currently plays for Sturm Graz and his contract is up this summer. Valued at £2.25m, he must be a decent player. Unfortunately I've not been able to find footage of him. He's not the tallest defender but can play DM as well. 18 year old, first full season for Sturm Graz, has made 38 appearances including 4 Europa League Qualifiers. Only 18 but already made 8 appearances for the Austria U21 national team. This is the sort of player we should be picking up and scouting. I can't say with any certainty how good he is or where he would fit into our team but surely we've scouted him and had a look?

6. Antonio Milic - 24 year old - Croatian international - CB/LB/DM
Milic is one I'm sure I've spoken about before. He currently plays in Belgium for KV Oostende and they do have a 1 year option on his contract but otherwise his contract finishes this summer. Valued at £2.7m, we could get him cut price even if they activated that 1 year extension, which I can't see them not doing. He's a big, tall, dominating CB with a sweet left foot! Good set-piece taker and scorer of some good free-kicks but also a danger in the box from crosses! Comfortable and assured with the ball at his feet, a good range of passing, quick enough to play as a LB but also hard and strong in the challenge without jumping in when he shouldn't. In 78 league games in Belgium, he's only had 13 bookings which shows that he's not reckless. He has a bit of European experience with only a couple of Europa League games and a handful of Europa League Qualifiers and while he has represented Croatia at U21 he's yet to actually make an appearance for the full national side, despite being in the squad.

 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#7
We're continuing to be linked with a move for another out of contract player this summer, Abel Hernandez. The 27 year old (28 come August) former Uruguay international striker is currently with Hull City in the English Championship. Valued at £6.3m, he has missed most of the season through injury but his recent return has seen him score 7 goals in 8 games! Impressive form! However if we look back over his entire career, the stats are not so impressive.
Serie A - 83 games - 17 goals
EPL - 49 games - 8 goals
English Championship - 47 games - 27 goals
Serie B - 28 games - 14 goals.

In all competitions he's scored 79 goals, 20 assists in 235 appearances. It actually puts him on about 1 goal every 3 games which is surprising as it doesn't look that way from the above stats.

I'm not sold on him, I don't know that he'll fit in to the team that well. There's talk of us offering him a huge contract that would make him the best paid player in Scotland if he joined.......


We're also said to be interested again in Red Star Belgrade CB Vujadin Savic. We were linked with him in January but no move materialised with us said to be deciding to pursue other targets - Commper.
The 6ft 4, 27 year old (28 in July) is described as a powerhouse defender; I think that means physical......
My issue with this move is that he's not exactly experienced. Signed by Bordeaux as a youngster he only made 13 appearances for them, had loan spells in Germany's second division, joined Watford but never played a game for them before joining Sheriff of Moldova before moving back to Red Star. In all he's only had about 4 full seasons of playing first team football, at the age of 28 that's not a lot! He has 8 Europa League games of experience, he is s Serbia international but hasn't actually made an appearance yet and this season he has only played half of Red Star's games either because he's had a couple of small injuries on he's been on the bench. Is that really the level of defender we should be aiming for? It doesn't seem so........
However reports say that we're going to have a scout out in Serbia this weekend to watch the Red Star game. Any other player I can think that we may be looking at instead within the Red Star team is unfortunately on loan and Red Star have the option to buy in most cases so it would seem unlikely we'd be looking at these players.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#8
Time for another update!

Nir Bitton has been linked with a move away from the club with a return to Israel to join Maccabi Haifa but he has rubbished those rumours and said he's staying with Celtic.

Scott Allan has admitted his Celtic career is over and wants to join Hibs this summer. I'm sure we'll have no problems in letting him leave! Cheerio! A signing that should have never happened anyway!

We keep getting linked with Hibs' John McGinn but I still don't see it happening. I'm not sure he fits into our team and I don't think he's good enough for what BR is trying to build here. Brighton and Bournemouth are both apparently interested in him, they would probably be a better move for him than to join us.

We were apparently linked with a move for Jack Rodwell in January, I don't really remember it but not surprising. He's currently at Sunderland, has one year left on his contract. Very good young talent who was wasted by going to Man City and not playing, although injuries have note helped him in his career. We were said to be looking at giving him a way back into the game. Sunderland are going down, they've been relegated from the Championship. While Rodwell has a year left on his contract and is valued at around £2.25m, we should be able to pick him up cheap as Sunderland prepare for wage cuts and thinning out their squad. One of the problems for him is that he's only made 6 appearances all season, 4 of which were in cup competitions. He's badly lacking game time. With a full pre-season under his belt, he could end up being a bargain!

We're also said to be interested in Dundee's Glen Kamara. Rangers are also said to be interested but now English Championship clubs are monitoring him too. The 22 year old Finland international has been a standout performer for Dundee this season having joined from Arsenal U23 last summer. Given our links to many young Arsenal players, it would be surprising if we didn't know a bit about him but perhaps he has just needed a break at a club like Dundee to really show what he can do. My issue with a move for him would be when is he going to play. Scott Brown is having one of the best season's of his career with us, Kouassi has already been named as the player to replace him over time. Plus with Bitton still on the books, is he actually liked to be needed? I'd suggest not!

We've been linked with out of contract (this summer) young Arsenal GK Arthur Okonkwo. The 16 year old is an England U17 international and is seemingly unlikely to get a contract agreed with Arsenal. Celtic and RB Leipzig are monitoring the situation.

Another young player on our radar is Thomas Isherwood. The 20 year old big Swedish U19 defender currently plays for Bayern Munich II. He was signed in July 2015 and Bayern had to fight off a number of top clubs to get him but his contract is to run out this summer and with first team football not looking likely for him right now, he may look to move on.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#9
Another player we've been linked with is Rubin Kazan's Iranian striker, Sardar Azmoun. The 23 year old has 30 caps for Iran and has scored 22 goals for his country. Unfortunately his record in Russia is not so impressive. Having previously played for FK Rostov, he scored 25 goals in 77 games and contributed 6 assists. However we should consider that this is when he was still young and probably used as a sub a lot. Then he moved to Rubin Kazan and has struggled for goals this season, not scoring his first until September and then with the winter break interrupting things, he then didn't score again until the end of March but has since scored another 2. Overall he has 11 goals in 58 appearances with 10 assists. We should also consider that he has just moved back to Rubin Kazan, he started off there before being loaned to Rostov who have been the better team for years now. They eventually signed him but for whatever reason things didn't work out and he was allowed a free transfer back to Rubin Kazan last summer. Kazan are a mid-table club.
Regardless of his numbers, I think he could be a good buy. His value is just over £8m and his contract runs until 2020 but I believe he is looking for a new challenge and it's believed a deal could be done. Watch his highlights and I think you'll agree, he could be a good fit for us. He's big and strong so can hold up the ball. Although from Iran, his style is what we might typically think of for a big European CF. A bit Lewandowski-ish......he's been linked with Liverpool in the past and a few Premier League/top of the Championship clubs are also said to be interested.

 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#10
Particularly after his performance against Rangers, it looks as though we will do the deal to sign Edouard although there are rumours that PSG want to sell him to a Spanish side, however seeing as we have a deal in place should we wish to.....it seems like as long as the player wants to join, which he apparently does, then it really doesn't matter who PSG want to sell him to anymore.

With that loan striker becoming permanent or moving on elsewhere, it looks like we've lined up our next bright young striker to take on loan. Rhian Brewster from Liverpool. The 18 year old helped England U17s win the U17 World Cup and finished top goalscorer, he's been playing with the Liverpool U23s so effectively in the Premier League Reserves (Premier League 2) and has been named on the bench for the Liverpool first team but is yet to make his debut. He's been out injured since January after landing awkwardly playing for the U23s and had to have ankle and knee surgery. The biggest reason we're probably chasing this lad is that Brendan Rodgers is the one who signed him to Liverpool from Chelsea when Brewster was 15. So Brendan knows all about him! If I were to say who he was similar to, I think he has a similar style to Man Utd's Marcus Rashford, although he's not as tall. Other elements of their game are very similar though I think. The boy looks a talent!

 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#12
Scott Bain has signed a 4 year deal! That's a cracking back-up keeper. I don't see him ever really being our first choice but great quality as a back-up.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#13
Another bit of a transfer roundup. Getting closer to the season being over means more and more rumours starting to circulate. 2 have popped up in the last day or so.

Fabian Schar - 26 year old Swiss international defender. Likely to be going to the World Cup with Switzerland. Started his career in Switzerland, eventually joining Basel in 2012, after 3 years he joined Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga and after 2 years with them he moved to Deportivo La Coruna last summer. However Deportivo are relegated this summer and as such, they'll probably be looking to drop some players to free up cash and wages and restructure a bit. That's why we're then looking at Schar. His value is around £2.7m but has been as high as £7.2m! He only managed 7 appearances for Hoffenheim in his second season after 25 in his first season with them. This was partly down to injury problems. He's another one of those mid-career players who has fallen down from the level they were once at and will be looking to show that they're still good enough.
He's an experienced defender with 35 caps and counting for Switzerland. He played in the last World Cup, the Euros and the qualifying for both of those competitions. He's a pretty simple defender, he doesn't go diving in or sliding in, he's also not the biggest but he's big enough. He doesn't try to do anything too fancy but he's composed on the ball and he's almost just more of the sort of defender who just sits in and puts himself in the right positions and just reads the game really well. Cuts things out and then plays simple balls. He'd probably be really good for Ajer to learn from and he could probably help Boyata/Simunovic as well.
Clearly it doesn't seem great to take a player from a club that's been relegated as it doesn't really make them seem like the best player, however 1 player does not make a team and it was the team as a whole who were rubbish and got relegated. If we sign him I'd be quite happy.

 
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wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#14
Another CB, this time one we've been linked with before. Chancel Mbemba from Newcastle. Signed by former boss Steve McClaren from Anderlecht, Mbemba has fallen out of favour under Rafa Benitez having played just 11 times this season. Mbemba was signed from Anderlecht for around £10m back in 2015. Benitez has apparently sanctioned the sale this summer to free up funds for improving the squad.
The DR Congo international isn't the tallest CB but his athleticism helps to make up for that and he's still very good in the air. He reads the game well and again his quickness allows him to get in ahead of attackers for the ball. His pace is one of his biggest assets, along with him seemingly being fearless! He throws his body in the way of anything! He's got pretty good feet too, able to play his way out of trouble or start a counter-attack which would suit us quite well. The big question mark.....his price? CUrrently valued at £6.3m and with 2 years left on his contract, how much are Newcastle going to want for him even if they are happy for him to be sold? You would think at least that much or more! That may not be something we're willing to do.

 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#15
When it comes to CBs.....there could be another option! Nelson Monte is a Portuguese CB who plays in the green and white of Rio Ave. He'll be 23 this summer and looking at footage of him, I think he'd suit our style perfectly! The big defender is really quick! He's also good in the air, comfortable on the ball and can ping a pass! Think Bitton but with pace and maybe not quite as tall. Rio Ave have played a 3 at the back system quite a lot so he's more than comfortable playing out in the wider areas where he can make good use of his pace. He reads the game well and makes good challenges, not afraid to slide in, make blocks or just stand the attacker up knowing that he's quick enough to deal with whatever is thrown at him. Normally I'd say he's an OK CB and he'd be a decent signing but not one likely to improve us a HUGE amount. However given how we've been playing a lot this season and how good a match he is for our systems, I think he'd be a great signing! He's currently valued at £1.35m and only has 1 year left on his contract. Rio Ave have finished the season 5th, just outside the European spots in Portugal. However, they're the best of the rest. Portugal have a clear top 4 at the moment, Porto, Benfica, Sporting and Braga. Braga finished 4th on 75 points while Rio Ave finished 5th on only 51 points!
Monte looks to me to be a player who is starting to reach his potential and is probably likely to move on and up this summer, we should be in the mix to sign him. He's probably a future Portuguese international as the team that are going to the World Cup still contains Bruno Alves! Of their CBs, they have 1 who is 21, 1 who is 29 and the rest are all 32 or over!

 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#16
Charly Musonda has effectively returned to Chelsea and is looking extremely unlikely to be back with us for next season. He has at least gone with good grace and thanked Brendan, the players, the fans and the whole Celtic family for the support he's received since joining. He also said that experiencing a European night at Celtic Park has made him hungry for more of the same sort of game and that he will be a Celtic fan for life!

Nice words from Charly. It's a shame it didn't quite work out for him here but I'm just not sure he really settled into our game all that well.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#17
WOW! Tom Rogic has signed a new FIVE year deal! I wasn't expecting him to sign until after the World Cup. I can only assume 1. we've made him a very good offer and 2. There's a release clause in the contract, plus a probably sell-on clause that both parties are happy with. Being a 5 year contract means we can ask more money for him. If he has a really good, impressive World Cup, someone will come and be willing to spend huge money to sign him!
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#18
It seems that a lot of Celtic fans were so impressed by Michael Johnston's performance in the Scott Brown testimonial that they think he's ready to play back-up to our wingers next season.....an "easy" replacement for Paddy. Quite a statement it has to be said! I didn't see his performance but I rate him highly and I know the club and Brendan do too. The real question is whether Brendan thinks he's ready to play first team football more regularly, which he arguably would have done this season anyway were it not for his injury, or whether he would benefit from a season going out on loan.

Regardless of the decision on Miller, it certainly looks as though we'll need at least 1 if not 2 new wingers for next season. Sinclair hasn't been at the races despite still being one of the top scorers, Roberts is away and unlikely to be coming back, Musonda is away and he's another who could have played out wide while it's not McGregor or Armstrong's best position and Armstrong could go this summer as well. We are literally left with Forrest and Sinclair being the only first team wingers in the squad and given the way we like to play a lot of the time, it's something that needs to be addressed!
So I've been having a look at who we could get that might add some quality whilst not breaking the bank of course and also who would be available for the season beginning i.e. not going to the World Cup.

I've looked for players who are either with a team that's been relegated or finished much further down the league table than they should have, players with expiring contracts or as much as 2 years left on their current contracts. I didn't find a lot in the way of wingers I have to be honest but I found a few interesting possibilities, players who are probably in a similar position to Scott Sinclair when he joined and just need a new home to get their confidence and form back.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#19
Just realised I never got round to doing my reports on some of the players I found. I'll get round to it at some point.

There's not really been a lot to talk about of late. We've not really been linked with anyone new and nothing has moved forward. The only recent talk has been about Stuart Armstrong leaving with 3 EPL clubs said to be interested in him and therefore a bidding war could commence.

The latest news is about another possible departure. Eboue Kouassi could be heading out with a number of Belgian, German and French teams all interested in signing him permanently or taking him on loan. BR has spoken about how much talent he has and that he sees him as the natural successor to Scott Brown, but the lad needs game time and BR did say he considered loaning him out in January but thought it better to keep him around. He'll have learned a lot but he'll learn even more if we get him the right loan move. I wouldn't want to see him go as I like him and think he could be a real talent, equally if the right offer came in it would be unfair to stand in his way.

It brings us on to an interesting question though......will we sign a midfielder this summer? If Armstrong leaves and Kouassi goes out on loan, we'd be left with Brown and Ntcham, plus McGregor when we play a midfield 3. Other than that we'd have Bitton as back-up for a deeper midfield role and then that's about it.
Kundai Benyu (remember him?) is back from his loan in League One but given he only managed 6 appearances in total after leaving us on a season long loan, I can't see him being in the manager's plans too much. He'll be going out on loan again but this time we need to send him somewhere where he will play!
Ryan Christie is an attacking player so doesn't quite fall into this category of midfielder.
Regan Hendry and Mark Hill from the youth team could be on the fringes of the team. They have been in the past. It's probably more likely that they'll head out on loan again. They were at Raith Rovers and St Mirren respectively last season on Development loans so were still eligible to play for Celtic in the UEFA Youth League and Irn Bru Challenge Cup.

I think if Kouassi goes and Armstrong does as well, we're 1 player shy in the middle of the pitch and that will need sorting.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#20
It's being reported that we have now reached an agreement with PSG for the fee for Edouard. It's also reported that today was the end of the deadline for us signing him without other clubs being able to make offers, however Edouard and his reps told PSG that he saw his future at Celtic and working with Brendan Rodgers and wasn't interested in holding out for other offers.
One report from France or Italy suggests that Edouard was promised a move to Arsenal......i.e. BR would be appointed Arsenal manager and take him with him.......what a load of BULL!
Anyway, just the length of contract and wages to be sorted plus I would imagine he'll have bonuses etc. Deal should hopefully be wrapped up in a number of days!