Three main news stories today to whet my appetite (or get my off my backside, as James put it to me earlier!) The continuing saga of the right back we haven’t signed yet, one about the striker we might be trying to sign and one about the striker we’d dearly love to sell.
Let’ start with the right back. It’s the “will he, won’t he, won’t someone?” saga of the summer. How many have we been linked to now? Half a dozen at least. We can’t have been after them all or surely we’d have got at least one of them signed by now.
Right? Well, consider that sense Desmond “stepped in” to lend his “support” to the manager we’ve simply ceased spending money. Not one penny has gone out on footballers since that ridiculous boast to the newspapers. Two players have arrived, but both of them on frees.
Right back is the problem position. Some have called it the critical position. And whilst I agree with James that perhaps the issue itself has become complicated since Ralston stepped up, to me this is a simple matter and it always was. We need a first choice, quality player for that role and we haven’t got one yet. Ralston as backup might do … but as a starter?
Not for me, I’m afraid, in spite of his improvement.
What in God’s name are we doing messing about on this? Whatever “assistance” Desmond thinks he’s providing, the last week has been a steady stream of stories about how we’re not interesting in paying what other clubs want, although at least one of the deals was as good as done with the fee already agreed beforehand. So it looks like Celtic dragging their feet at best.
As it stands tonight, there are still two deals “in progress”; the Brazilian from Man City and the Croat. Neither looks close. Celtic needs to get one of them done pronto. Another European signing deadline marches towards us, and AZ Alkmaar are a damned good team.
What is the delay Celtic? Why are we not getting this done quickly?
The stories about the striker Henry are equally frustrating. We know what he will cost because a team in Belgium has had an offer accepted. His preference is Celtic, so we either match or better their bid or we move on.
To me, this deal is for a blue chip footballer and if we let this go over a few quid and then Edouard goes and we don’t adequately replace him big questions are going to need to be asked. We will not get away with delaying this until Edouard is out of the building. If this is the guy we need to go and get him, even if that means doing it while Eddie is still at the club.
It’s a no-brainer, especially as transfer net spend is essentially zero.
Edouard continues to be the other saga of this window, and he’s being linked with a move to Nice in France. I am sure he’d go there, and I’m sure he’d be a huge hit in the French league. The question is, how real is the bid and will it be enough to tempt the club?
A lot of things seem to be on hold until his future is decided. Needless to say, I think that is pretty stupid especially if we have major targets being looked at by other clubs right now. We all do expect that Edouard will leave … it’s a matter of time and how much.
Obviously we cannot rush other teams to make these decisions … but we shouldn’t be sitting around twiddling our thumbs until they do.
Not one of these deals seems imminent. They are all on hold, probably because our skinflint board wants to wait until the Edouard money is in the bank before sanctioning any further major spending. I cannot articulate enough how stupid that is.
The European transfer deadline looms in a few days, for wild-card signings. But the larger deadline looms in a mere fortnight. We’re still needing bodies in several positions … and so this foot dragging surely cannot, and must not, go on much longer.
The Rumour Guy is a Celtic fan and blogger from Glasgow.