According to the media this morning, Celtic are “weighing up” a move for Bojan Miovski of Aberdeen. He would cost us a Scottish transfer record, which currently stands at £4.4 million, the deal which got Scott Brown from Hibs.
The idea is not the daftest one I’ve heard. It’s certainly more realistic and interesting that the idea of signing Mathias Kvistgaarden for £6 million, a transfer which screams “expensive punt!” at you in the loudest voice possible.
This guy knows the league, and he knows how to score in it. He has a happy knack of roughing up the Ibrox club. He has goals in Europe. He’s a full international and he is just 24. At 6’2, he’s got a physical edge to his game. We’ve seen it. He’s not an unknown.
All of that stuff is important. All of that stuff convinces me that this is not just paper talk or speculation; Celtic doesn’t even have to do the full-on extensive scouting and data crunching that it would require to sign a guy from abroad. The fee might seem high, but he’s young and he’s hungry and he has been getting better the longer he’s been in the league.
This is the kind of signing who would slot right into the squad. The concern we’ve had is that we need a player who can carry us through February when our whole strike-force is off somewhere else … this guy can almost certainly do it, because he’s already doing well in a team which doesn’t create as many chances as we do. It’s clever. It might be a stroke of genius.
Two things bother me. The fee, first.
For Aberdeen to want a Scottish record fee is understandable, but let’s not kid ourselves or let ourselves be kidded; we’d be paying a premium just so they could keep their own fans off their backs.
They can’t let him go to Celtic “on the cheap” as they see it, but if we made them a good offer, in the £3 million region, and they said no, they have to wonder if they’d get that from England or anywhere else. And the truth is maybe they wouldn’t.
Maybe. Not definitely. This guy is a good player with a lot of potential and he’s got the right pedigree in terms of his international caps and stuff that a lot of sides might take the punt.
But it’s not a lock. It’s not definite, and £3 million or thereabouts represents a good return. Aberdeen are not in a position where they have to sell. The guy is contracted to 2026, so nobody can force their hand … so holding out for the record might not look like such a gamble to them.
The second thing that bothers me is going to sound daft.
Weakening Aberdeen to strengthen our squad … it’s ruthless, it’s predatory, it’s how Scottish football got separated into Celtic … And The Rest in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a deal breaker for me, it’s not enough to make me think it’s a bad idea.
But I’m on the record as wanting our teams to get stronger, to improve the competition and this certainly doesn’t help that goal along.
The thing is, this guy will leave Aberdeen anyway, that’s inevitable, and they might seem weaker for it anyway, so someone will benefit when that time comes, and if we do decide to pay them a record fee between Scottish clubs, or something close to that, they will have the kind of funds which allow them to go out and strengthen two or even three positions.
And so in the end, they might end up better off than they are right now. He cost them £650,000. That’s a decent fee for them to pay, so £4 million, if that’s sort of where we land, will represent a major profit … if they were able to reinvest that they’d be strong contenders to nail down that third place and another shot at Group Stage football.
The more Group Stage football they get, the stronger Aberdeen will be. So, in the end, this could be a good bit of business for them … and for us. No losers.
No losers except the club across the city, who the reports claim are interested but would run a mile at that sort of fee.
When you think of the dross they spent money on in the summer, and over the last few years, and you consider that McKenna was available to them, Lewis Ferguson was within their reach and now this guy might end up at Celtic Park, that’s got to hurt.
Of course, this could be speculation.
But it’s more sensible and grounded than most speculation tends to be and I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if there was something more to it than just talk.
It’s also pretty obvious who Aberdeen could, and should, target on a six-month loan if the deal goes through; Kevin Van Veen, ex-Motherwell, who might be available after falling out with the manager of his new club. He scored more goals than Miovski last season, but he’s also 32 and that alone entirely rules him out as a possible Celtic target.
We’ll find out soon. The window opens in just a few weeks … but in the meantime, there’s a lot of football to be played and this transfer story wasn’t the only thing which made some headlines yesterday. Our manager had other news for us.