Earlier in the week I read a ridiculous article which suggested that Celtic hang onto Odsonne Edouard beyond the start of the season, that he play in the European Group Stage qualifiers and that we only sell him towards the end of the transfer window.
That made not one bit of sense to me at the time, and it makes no sense to me now. The news, which broke yesterday, about how he is likely to be tied up in games for the French Olympic team is good for us.
It erases that dire possibility.
Edouard must be sold as quickly as possible, for two reasons.
First up, we need to get he and the rest of the non-triers out the door as soon as possible, because otherwise their presence in the squad will distract people from the scale of the rebuild.
Only when the decks are cleared and all these players are gone can a new manager look at it all with the most critical eye, and understand the full scale of the job.
Secondly, we need the money.
Edouard is our most bankable, saleable, asset and we are going to need to get the money in for him as soon as we can.
There is no sense in waiting to get that done.
If we go out of the Champions League with him in the squad his value will drop even further than it has already because clubs will know we need the money all the more.
There is a part of me that rebels against the idea of giving any of the want away players another minute in a Celtic shirt after this season is over. All of these guys have already made themselves clear; they want out.
Get them out the minute the window is open.
The strategy of keeping Edouard past the point where that makes sense is about not spending the money, of course. The earlier he’s sold the more likely the manager is to get in the players he wants for the money Eddie’s sale brings in.
The longer he’s kept at the club the less money the likes of Lawwell think the manager needs to have.
Sitting looking at it today, I cannot pretend to believe that we are going to be ready when the new campaign kicks off. We’re too far behind already, unless Eddie Howe or someone is in there right now and making deals. I highly doubt that.
The club has wasted an awful lot of time already, and the idea that we might have wasted more by keeping Edouard in the team up until our European fate was decided was stupid in the first place; now it’s indefensible.
We would all rather the new strike-force was in place for those qualifiers, players who actually do want to be at the club.
The news about the Olympics and Edouard’s likely place in the French squad takes the matter out of our hands. He won’t be available for the qualifiers, that’s very likely the reality of it, and for once our club should embrace bad news as a left-handed gift from the Gods.
It simplifies this situation. Edouard literally has nothing to offer us now.
Hopefully that has finally started to sink in for people.