News this morning that Diego Laxalt has turned down a possible move to Saudi Arabia has been interpreted as a sign that he might want to stay at Celtic Park beyond the duration of his current loan deal.
I like Laxalt; the question is, is this a deal we’d want to make?
Let’s start with the obvious; when Milan were talking about a deal in excess of £10 million that was pretty ridiculous and way outside of our price range. There is no way we’re paying that, no matter how much we like this guy.
A little sanity in the fee would be necessary before we’d even consider doing a permanent deal.
His contract at Milan is not up until June next year; he’s got 18 months left.
They can still command a fee for him, and the Saudi offer is allegedly worth $3 million a year to the player alone. He has turned it down, allegedly because he wants to stay at Parkhead. But he surely knows that only one person at our club commands that sort of salary – Peter Lawwell – so he’d earn nowhere near that kind of money if he was to make the move permanent.
So a little sanity there has to be factored in as well.
The next question is, is Diego Laxalt worth a permanent deal?
That seems to be an easier one to answer; if the price is right, Hell yes he’d be worth a permanent deal.
Laxalt is a great player; we’re not seeing his best at the moment because on the ongoing turmoil at the club, but I believe he’s vastly better than Greg Taylor … who I also like, by the way.
Laxalt just has that bit of added quality. He defends better. He works hard. He imposes himself on a game. He runs with the ball. His delivery lets him down sometimes; it’s the area where I’d suggest that Taylor has a slight edge.
Overall, he’s just a good footballer.
For all that, I’d be in favour of playing a game of “wait and see.”
Perhaps something can be worked out in the summer.
For now, the issue is pretty moot.
Celtic cannot afford to spend money in this window until we have a clear idea what the future is going to be. Laxalt is one to look at, but the timing isn’t right … and that brings me to the subject of the next piece.