A few weeks ago, whilst I was in Dublin, the first whispers were starting about Ryan Fraser being linked with the club. I think I wrote about it at the time. It’s a move that made nothing but good sense and it hadn’t surprised me one bit to read about it.
The story has now grown legs, especially with the player being effectively frozen out in Geordie Land this season with the club not even offering him a squad number. Safe to say that he will definitely be moving on. That is what has sparked this new wave of stories.
For it to happen, Ryan Fraser would need to accept a gigantic cut in his current salary.
Newcastle would not be difficult to deal with on a fee, but the chances are that they would have to continue paying a percentage of his wages, or pay him off in some manner, as it still has almost two years left to run on it. This is not uncommon in deals taking players from English clubs; they agree this as part of the deal, or they pay the player a lump sum based on it.
Newcastle can easily afford to do that.
Stil, Fraser would have to come to an agreement with them over what that would be and how it would be paid. Celtic would not offer him anywhere near his current salary level. So yeah, there’s work to be done.
But the deal would be sensible from Celtic’s point of view.
This is a guy with extensive experience in the EPL, he plays on the side of the pitch where we need some badly, he is at the age where he isn’t thinking any longer about his next big move and he is versatile and a very good footballer. These are all plus points along with one other; he is Scottish and home-grown at Aberdeen, and thus ticks the Champions League registration box for us.
There is just no way that’s not a consideration here.
Because it’s a big one, as this site has pointed out over and over again.
Whatever else we do with this team, those rules are a fact of football life which we cannot ignore.
Whatever else we do with this team, eight of its players need to be produced right here at home, and if you don’t think the club cares when it can just name youth players and call it quits you’ve missed the rehabilitation of David Turnbull and yesterday’s comments from Brendan Rodgers about Stephen Welsh.
The manager gets it and he’s thinking about it a lot.
There will be talk from some quarters about this being an unambitious and uninspiring sort of deal; Celtic, fortunately, will have other considerations in mind than what a handful of hacks might say.
If the Ibrox club was bringing in this guy, with his experience, they would be over the moon and we all know it.
If Rodgers decides to make the move – and he doubtless knows Fraser’s qualities – then it would not be difficult to sell most of our fans on the idea. I for one would welcome it as smart business in every way … if the price was right.