Summer 2018 | Page 2 | Vital Forums

Summer 2018

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#21
And this afternoon we confirmed that Edouard is a Bhoy! 4 year contract has been signed and although the fee has not been announced, it's believed to be £9m or that could be Euros...... It's unknown how much of that might be paid up front and how much in add-ons. Great piece of business from us regardless of whether that's considered to be a big fee.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#22
Not a lot more even rumours to discuss at the moment.

Dembele is interesting Borussia Dortmund who have been priced out of taking Batshuayi back to the club after his successful loan from Chelsea. Other clubs are also said to still be interested but it doesn't seem that either Celtic or Dembele are desperate for anything to happen.

Armstrong continues to be linked with moves away but he is said to be having talks with Brendan and Peter Lawell this week now that we're back to pre-season training.

Calvin Miller could be heading to Sunderland on loan. He only managed a handful of appearances last season and is still adjusting to his new LB role that Rodgers has chosen to use him in. What I found odd was that on occasions where Tierney didn't play (not often) we opted to use Johnny Hayes or McGregor at LB instead of giving him a chance. However it's also reported that it would only be a loan move as Celtic want to get him tied down to a new long term contract! That's how impressed Rodgers is with him, it's just a shame he's having to play behind Tierney!
The question would be whether we look for another LB if Miller does go?!? If the worst should happen and Tierney is injured, do we try and make do with McGregor or Hayes in there again, or do we need proper LB cover?
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#23
Johnny Hayes is wanted by Alex Neil who is now in charge at Preston. It would be a season long loan. It really comes down to what formation Rodgers is planning to use and whether he sees Hayes as a vital part of the team or not. Are Morgan and Christie going to play on the wings before him? Will Christie be used as a winger at all? Or will he be fighting it out with Rogic? Will Miller go out on loan and then Rodgers wants to keep Hayes around as backup for LB?? So many options and questions!
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#24
Apparently we've started our offer for John McGinn at £1.5m......how we thought we'd ever get him for that I've no idea. If that's true then we're being daft. Hibs say they want £5m and rightly so. Although with the addition of Scott Allan I'd hope we could get him for less.
That said however.....I for one am not convinced that he's the player we should be signing to replace Armstrong! I have this bad feeling that he's going to be another Scott Allan and he's not going to be able to play and be as good for us as he is at Hibs. If we sign him then obviously I hope I'm wrong but at the moment, I just don't see him being a success here.

Rodgers has confirmed Dorus de Vries could be leaving the club this summer. He has been excused from the pre-season trip to Austria as he finishes a coaching course with the Welsh FA. Having signed Scott Bain, we no longer really need de Vries especially with Connor Hazard and Ross Doohan as back-ups and both being quite highly rated, especially Hazard.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#25
We've made another bid for John McGinn, this time we've increased the offer to £2m which is still far below the Hibs asking price.
I don't really get this. We either want him and are prepared to pay the price Hibs want or we want him but are only willing to pay less than what Hibs want as we don't see him being worth more. So far it looks like the latter and if that's the case, why are we even continuing to continue chasing him? It's not like we can't afford £3m! So it suggests we don't think he's worth that. In which case lets go sign someone else!
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#26
John McGinn has been the summer transfer saga for this year but it as yet doesn't look to be close to coming to an end! McGinn started Hibs' away match of the Europa League last night which then rules him out of being eligible to play for Celtic in our Champions League qualifiers. He would however be available for the group stages should we reach them. Whether this was actually a ploy by Hibs to try and keep us away.......not sure but it does make McGinn less of a tempting proposition at this stage of the season!

Meanwhile we are still left with no ideas or rumours of other possible players coming in. Sviatchenko and Armstrong left this summer and while some were happy to see them go, most would have expected replacements. Sviatchenko maybe didn't need to be replaced as we have Compper but as his injury problems continue, questions are now being asked about whether we need some more cover at CB.
The Armstrong replacement appears to be McGinn but if that deal is not proving to be possible then we need to move on to the next target! We need to move on quickly before all the good players are already signed by other clubs.

There was talk of a midfielder/attacker from Uruguay but it seems the transfer fee may be just too high for us. Giorgian De Arrascaeta is a 24 year old Uruguay international who currently plays for Brazilian side Cruzeiro and apparently he is keen to make a move to Europe. Newcastle are also said to be interested and the transfer fee is said to be around £10m, far easier for Newcastle to come up with that sort of cash than it is for Celtic! He plays as a number 10, between the striker and midfield so it would seem to put him in direct competition with Rogic and Christie.

In other news, Boyata is being linked with a move to French giants Lyon!
 
#27
We are gambling on picking up EPL players. The English leagues' transfer window closes much earlier than usual this year, 9th of August to be precise.
So that gives us until midnight on the 31st to try and get any english based targets signed up. Any targets we do have will know where they stand with their club at that stage.
 
Last edited:

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#28
Rodgers has admitted we may walk away from the McGinn negotiations. We're taking too long about it if you ask me.
He also said that to improve and strengthen the squad over what we had last year is going to cost considerable money (which we know) and he said he has no control over how much the club is willing to spend.
Now we get all that, we've never been one for big transfer fees and we don't expect the club to go mad with money, however we clearly need another wing, perhaps someone who could fill in as a striker, potentially another attacking/central midfielder and we quite clearly need another CB. They don't HAVE to cost loads of money and we may still not end up in a stronger position in terms of quality of player but I think it's clear that we need to strengthen in terms of squad depth. Once again we find ourselves going into a Champions League qualifier and we only have 1 fit striker. Yes there's an element of bad luck but our current wingers aren't even really up to the challenge of trying to fill the void. Forrest will work his socks off but he's not the sort of player who will receive the ball in the box and get a goal. He's all about running at the defence and if that's all we're doing then it makes it very easy for the opposition to defend!

What are we paying Lee Congerton for? What has he given us so far since he arrived? Marvin Compper???? Olivier Ntcham and Edouard are the only good signings we've had since he took over and there's nothing to suggest he's the one who decided on either of them. The others are the likes of Hendry, Morgan and Hayes weren't exactly difficult seeing as they played in Scotland. Musonda was a bust, Benyu hasn't kicked on and looks increasingly less likely to seeing as our own youth players would pretty much keep him out of the team now and that's about all we've brought in since Congerton was appointed. Not exactly impressive so far!
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#30
I've had a look at some players who would be flexible enough for us to use in multiple positions, mainly looking at playing them as a striker or winger but some could probably fill in playing behind the striker too. I don't think any of them would cost more than £5m and they're all young players.

Youssef En-Nesyri - 21 year old Moroccan international currently with Malaga who were relegated from La Liga last season. He's made 17 appearances for Morocco including playing at the World Cup this summer and scoring a thumping header against Spain! He is happy playing as striker or a winger and also works hard going back the way. He's big and tall but well built and strong and he has pace to burn with his long legs! Currently valued at £1.62m but with his goal at the World Cup and given his age it probably pushes the price up a bit, however with Malaga being relegated, we would be a very good move for him! He's never been a first choice player at Malaga however that could change if they've offloaded a lot of higher earners this summer. They may not be keen to let him go but with a high enough offer, they may feel they could put the money to better use.

<div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.27%"><iframe src="
" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe></div>
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#31
Continuing our French Connection that is proving so good and so popular right now is French U21 international Marcus Coco. U21 team-mate to both Dembele and Ntcham, he could look favourably at joining a team who would be competing in Europe and he would already have some friends here to make the transition easier. The 22 year old currently plays in France for Guingamp, a mid table Ligue1 team who have been punching above their weight and producing some excellent young managers and players since they arrived in Ligue1. Coco was in the squad for 32 out of 38 league games last season, starting only 17 of those and making a sub appearance in another 12. So again he's not an automatic starter even though he predominantly plays as a winger, however I feel his abilities and the way he plays as well as his size would make useful or certainly more useful than our current wingers as an alternative to our strikers should we need one. He's currently valued at £2.7m and he has 2 years left on his contract. He's also one of 5 wingers at Guingamp and he's the youngest of the 5 so this could be something his club would be open to.

<div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.27%"><iframe src="
" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe></div>
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#32
Isaac Mbenza - 22 year old, Belgian U21 international, born in France and parents from DR Congo. Mbenza plays for Montpellier in Ligue1, Montpellier were one of the top teams in France for a while but have struggled over the past 5 years or so. They are now a mid-table club which means no European football. Mbenza is considered a winger, however he has been used up front as well. He was signed in January 2017 from Standard Liege for £1.53m, his value is now £3.15m and I don't know how long he has left on his contract. This could be the more expensive option or certainly one that is more tricky to try and complete. He has all the attributes, size, strength and of course pace as well as a decent eye for goal. In the final game of last season for Montpellier, they played a 5-2-1-2 formation, which as you can imagine does not really leave room for wingers in the team. So he played as part of the front 2. Over the course of the season he was used in all 38 games, but only started 22 of them. With 4 strikers on the books and him being one of 3 wingers, competition for the front 2 is fierce! A decent offer and a decent return in just 18months since they signed him, Montpellier could be open to doing business while the temptation of a move to us for the player would of course be the chance to win trophies and play in European competition.

<div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.27%"><iframe src="
" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe></div>
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#33
Fulham have reportedly offered £9m for Boyata! That's got to be tempting the board! Rodgers of course wants to keep him but it all depends how discussions are going on a new contract. Boyata I believe would be happy enough to stay, especially with us getting to play in Europe but obviously the money on offer to him down south is huge compared to up here. It's a very difficult situation but we accepted £7m for Armstrong who was in the same position as Boyata, although Armstrong was nearly away last year!
Celtic fans have been fairly mixed on Boyata, as have the managers with him sometimes being favoured and other times not.....but I don't think there's much doubt that he's playing at the top of his game at the moment and he is our best CB. Should we sell or not?

If we do sell......surely we have to replace him with some quality? Unfortunately, while I do like this player I don't think it's the quality Rodgers would have in mind, we're being linked with a move for Aberdeen's Scott McKenna. The 21 year old is a mobile CB who typically plays on the left side of the defence, he's also good on the ball and strong. However he's not experienced and while he would add strength in depth, he wouldn't add to the quality we currently have. He could in the future, but not right now! We're being linked with him regardless of losing Boyata, which makes sense although again I still think we should be looking for better quality right now even if we keep Boyata.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#34
There has been the suggestion that we could look to sign, even if only on loan, Jason Denayer. He's still not looking likely to make it at Man City despite Pep Guardiola using him on their tour in America this summer. Galatasaray are said to be keen to take him back to Turkey again as well.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#35
It looks as though we could lose out on John McGinn as Aston Villa are said to be interested and seem willing to offer the money that Hibs want right now. He's said to be set for talks with Villa this week as the English transfer window closes this Friday.
The question will be, do we have anyone else in mind? Surely we still need to consider adding at least some depth to the squad at CM? We were absolutely crapping ourselves at the thought of Ntcham not being fit for the AEK Athens game this week.

Apparently we're not going to accept the £9m bid for Boyata but Fulham are expected to come back with more bids and could go as high as £12m. The only reason we wouldn't accept that sort of offer is if we have no idea who we could bring in to replace him......unfortunately it feels like that is the situation we're in!
Scott McKenna from Aberdeen has been mentioned but he went off with an injury just half an hour into the game against Rangers on Sunday. We're not going to want someone who's not fit. That is exactly the other problem with some of our more likely targets. Club Brugge have SIX CBs in their squad so they must be willing to sell at least 1 of them. Stefano Denswil fits what we're after but seems to struggle with injuries a bit, we were linked with him before a few years ago but the move didn't happen. He's currently injured it seems. Brandon Mechele and Saulo Decarli are the other 2 CBs at Club Brugge who aren't getting a look in at the moment.
The other really good option would be Diego Reyes. A Mexican international, he's just left Porto and is a free agent having spent time on loan in La Liga but he's currently injured. He was seemingly going to be a big part of Mexico's World Cup plans but wasn't able to recover in time. If we could get him fit and healthy and keep him fit, he'd be a great bit of business. Valued at £4.5m but available for nothing.....apparently West Ham and Newcastle are interested but Newcastle already signed Fabian Schar this summer and West Ham have been on a big recruitment drive too and they have 6 CBs on their books so neither of those moves seems likely. Over 50 apps for Mexico, 61 apps in La Liga, Champions League and Europa League experience. If he's a free agent surely we're at least making contact, get him in and assess the injury for ourselves, see if we can make a deal. He'd probably have to be one of our top earners but why not?
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#36
Suddenly transfer dealings seemed to have stepped up a gear!

McGinn has had good talks with Villa and Steve Bruce but reports now suggest we've re-entered the race and upped our bid in order to not miss out.

Izaguirre is in talks over re-signing a 1 year contract. I think that will allow Miller to go out on loan and get valuable playing time and first team experience. Rodgers wouldn't let Miller go out on loan without some sort of cover and it makes sense for both us and Izaguirre to bring him back for a year.

Yesterday it emerged that Pedro Chirivella was to leave Liverpool and he was interested in a reunion with Brendan Rodgers who gave him his first Liverpool first team debut in the Europa League, one of only a handful of first team appearances he has actually made. He was set to join Rosenborg but he backed out of the move but the fee was said to be around £3.5m. An extortionate amount for a player who's played 2 seasons in Holland for Willem II and Go Ahead Eagles but has barely even featured as a sub for Liverpool. However another Celtic site claims that these rumours are wide of the mark and that we have no plans to sign him and Celtic and Brendan Rodgers' connection to the player are being used by his agent to get him a move elsewhere.
Having watched videos of him, he's too defensive for what we need right now. He would be similar to Scott Brown but with the passing of Nir Bitton. Scott Brown's position is Kouassi's if Brown isn't fit so it wouldn't seem to make sense to bring another player like that in to the club.

We're also said to be weighing up a move for Denayer. It seems his chances at Man City are over and he's not in Pep Guardiola's plans. He'll have various offers because he seemed to have done well at Galatasaray but it will all depend on what he wants to do and where he'd be happier. It's surprising other English clubs aren't in for him! The question would be how much City want for a player that they no longer want or need......
Similar situation for Patrick Roberts. His move to Leicester never materialised and he spoke a few weeks ago saying that he hadn't even spoken to Pep Guardiola since returning to Man City. It doesn't look like he's in their plans but it's unlikely we can afford the asking price for him. Another loan move may be on the cards though and the player hasn't ruled it out.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#37
So it seems we have upped our bid for McGinn but I can't help wondering why we're still chasing him. Now that he's played for Hibs in Europa League qualifying, we can't use him in Champions League qualifying should we get through against AEK. So does it really make sense? Surely we should have identified a target earlier who wasn't going to be cup tied and brought them in!
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#38
Boyata appears to have played his last game for us with Brendan Rodgers confirming he is fit but simply hasn't traveled with the squad to Athens. We must be desperately searching for a replacement.

We'd been linked with Denayer but it seems he wanted a move to Galatasaray, however that doesn't seem to be materializing and now it seems that Denayer has not ruled out a move after all. However it may need to be a permanent move rather than a loan and that could be the difficulty. It may depend on what the result in Athens is, whether we're going to be another step closer to Champions League football or not.
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#39
Getting in a good midfielder to help this team should NOT be difficult! I don't understand what the hold up is. We need 1 extra player to supplement Ntcham and Brown. Bitton is injured but would be back-up to Broony. Kouassi is still learning, could probably do with going on loan to get regular first team football for even 6 months but again he's there to fill Brown's role in the team. We don't have another player who can come into midfield, pick the ball up and move with it, someone who has the skill and speed to break the opposition lines. Ntcham is great, I really like him but he doesn't run with the ball enough, he wants to be on the ball trying to make things happen and that's fine because we need that too. But if we can get someone else to help change games round when that's not working then we should be getting him in.

Yann Bodiger - 23 year old former French U21 international playing for Toulouse (a mid-table French side these days). We were apparently interested in him last summer before we signed Ntcham. He's described as a box to box midfielder.....sounds like what we need if you ask me. He's also got a pretty sweet left foot! Not much footage of him other than a few goals he's scored but if we were interested before, why not now? Current value is £2.7m and 2 years left on his contract.

Mikkel Duelund - turned 21 in the summer, he's an almost 6ft Danish U21 international. He is down as being a left winger who can also play on the right or an attacking midfield role but looking at the footage, he's like another Calmac! Looks to be one of the best young Danish talents coming through. Happy to come deep and received the ball, can run and play out wide on the wings, good shot and creative. Valued at £1.35m, he has 3 years left on his contract.

Angelo Fulgini - 21 year old French U21 international. Plays for SCO Angers in Ligue 1. He's an international team-mate of Ntcham, Dembele and probably knows Edouard too. He's a 6ft tall midfielder who can basically play anywhere; CM, DM, RM, LM, on the wing, AM.....could probably fill in as a striker too. He's quick, strong, a bit of skill, an eye for a pass, can finish.....Valued at £3.5m and 3 years left on his contract so he would cost a fair bit of cash but it should still be possible.

Jaoa Gamboa - almost 22 year old Portuguese U21 international playing for Maritimo in Portugal. He previously played for Braga, mainly the Braga B team and U19s but spent most of his younger years coming through the Benfica youth academy. He's a bit more of a defensive midfielder, he's a little more like Ntcham in that he likes to get on the ball and make the passes but I really like him. I think he could be very good for our team. He's comfortable taking the ball in and is quick enough both with his feet and with his mind to get out of trouble if the opposition press him. That's something we could really do with as we struggle when the press comes on us in midfield but this guy has the ability to break that press, on occasion even when 2 or even 3 players are after him. He can break forward as well though and doesn't mind a shot from distance. Valued at £1.35m and 3 years left on his contract but I think no more than £3-3.5m should be enough to get him.

Now if I can find these 4, all of whom should be possible to go and get, why can't our scouting network and why aren't we making deals for these sorts of players happen?
 

wee_od_88

Vital Football Hero
#40
Getting in another defender to replace Boyata is going to be difficult! Defenders can be very hit and miss unfortunately or they can look good on tape but not be able to reproduce it once here. A lot don't have any real footage of them at all. It's also difficult to judge how much they would cost. Boyata is valued at £1.8m on Transfermarkt but we're expecting over £10m for him......he's only got 1 year left on his contract! Equally Simunovic is valued at about £2.5m but we'd probably take an offer of £5-6m for him.....to be fair Boyata's value is inflated because we don't need to sell him, we didn't particularly want to sell him and because we're saying that the fact he was in the Belgium squad and played in 2 games of the World Cup increases his value.

Whoever we go for now, it's probably going to be a bit of a gamble. It's not going to be a defender with European experience or at least not much and it's not going to be someone who's been to the World Cup or anything like that as we won't be able to attract them with Champions League football or the money that other clubs can offer. Now we'll need to look for someone who is just on the edge and ready to make that step up; just like Boyata was when he joined us. The talent and potential was there, he just needed to show it.

There are a few defenders out there I would suggest we go for, but some are injured right now which doesn't help. For example, Jean-Kevin Duverne has been a long term target playing in the French second division, he just turned 21 in July but hasn't really played at a top level yet which might be what's put us off......and I would imagine his price tag as well. However, he is in the final year of his contract as well so surely a deal could be done?
Diego Reyes would be a fantastic bargain for us. The former Porto defender is currently a free agent, he'd probably have to be one of our top earners but equally he is a top defender! He'll be 26 in September, has good experience playing in Mexico as well as Portugal and Spain's La Liga where he's been on loan. To be honest it's surprising that he hasn't already got a new club but it could be that his hamstring injury is putting clubs off. We need someone for now but surely get him in and assess the injury ourselves and try and get a deal done? So pay him higher wages.....he's costing us nothing up front!
There's a defender playing in the US who looks like he could be a good buy. He's Argentinian but with Portuguese nationality as well so getting him a work permit shouldn't be too difficult. He's nicknamed The Beast because he's a bit of a no-nonsense powerhouse of a defender. He's not the tallest but still at least 6ft. He's also very adept at playing in a midfield role and typical South American he's good on the ball and is quite happy nipping in to get a ball and then setting off on an attack. His biggest asset is his strength though, he won't be pushed off the ball, even that Ikpeazu would have struggled against this guy! Leandro Gonzalez Pirez is a 26 year old playing in the MLS for (my MLS team because I'm an Atlanta Falcons NFL fan) Atlanta United who appear to be taking the MLS by storm. The question mark over him is how much would Atlanta want for him in transfer fee and how much is he earning? My gut says they'd want a hefty fee for him and I think his wages will be crazy big! There's so much money in the MLS these days and Atlanta are one of the top teams now which means they'll be paying top wages!
 
Latest Celtic News