You’ll have read, with a mixture of interest and amusement, the latest bonus of all those reports over the past few months about how Celtic were now willing to accept a greatly reduced sum for Odsonne Edouard.
I never believed a word of it, especially with the numbers being so low.
£20 million was the number the press was talking about.
We signed him for half that. PSG are on a big sell on fee. So the idea that we would sell him for such a sum as to barely even make us a profit to invest was, and is, absolutely ridiculous.
Now the press is talking about a dizzying array of clubs lining up to test Celtic’s resolve in the summer, as if there was the slightest doubt that we would be ready to do business … but only if the price was right.
Test our resolve at £30 million upwards, guys.
The second you get a group of clubs all vying for a player’s signature they call that an auction.
I say this because the press clearly needs educating on the finer points of it.
And if you’ve ever watched an auction you know that there’s a number at which the bidding begins and that with every offer that is put on the table it only goes up and up and up.
So even if we were stupid enough to have put it around Europe that we would do business at the £20 million fee the media has been howling about, there’s no doubt that we would consider that sum completely unacceptable with so many interested parties.
Let’s look at this logically; the mid-range mark in football transfers hit £50 million in 2018.
That was reflected in a number of big name signings across various leagues.
That is the sum that you pay for a future French international striker who’s still only 23.
If we’re offered £40 million at some point we’d undoubtedly crack and take the money, but if our league had even a slightly higher profile we’d be looking at the £50 million as a worst case scenario.
The media really ought to stop writing nonsense about this player and start talking him and the game here up.
We have no need to sell at a knock-down price; in case anyone missed it, our six monthly accounts were poor but showed a surplus still in the bank and the Frimpong money to come.
The wolf is not exactly scratching at our door.
It helps too that the clubs courting Edouard are not the Brighton’s and Huddersfield’s who have been linked with lesser players up here but the likes of Arsenal and Roma.
There will be other suitors too; don’t be surprised if the French clubs jump back in, and there will probably be some interest from Germany. Edouard is too good a player for there not to be.
Most interestingly, Leicester and Aston Villa are in the race too, which means three teams in the big money EPL all trying to outdo each other to get the deal across the line … this really has the potential to spiral into one Hell of a chase, with a fortune riding on it.
The media owes us an apology.
Whatever else might be said about our board, they do not behave stupidly when it comes to selling players and that’s what we’ve been accused of lately over this deal … being stupid.
That’s blown up in their faces, and the least we should get for that is a sorry.