I had to laugh at Andy Walker again yesterday, jumping feet first into a debate about which he knows nothing at all; what Celtic is likely to do, or rather what Celtic won’t do, in the January transfer window.
He has about as much real information on this as he knows about particle physics. And yet, for all that, one of his comments is still worth discussing.
He claimed that Celtic might be interested in Miovski of Aberdeen, but that we would not pay “silly money” for the player. I’d like to know what sort of fee he regards as silly. Because even if Aberdeen push for a Scottish Premier League record, that might be, as I said the other day, paying a premium just so Aberdeen can face their own fans, but silly money it ain’t.
I remember a few years back, when Rodgers was first in charge, and there was talk that Celtic would not spend £9 million on Odsonne Edouard.
Now, I’m going to be honest with you, there is some doubt that we actually did that, just as there is doubt about the £7 million we’re alleged to have spent on Christopher Jullien.
But first Jullien, and then Edouard, certainly broke our transfer record which was the £6 million fee we paid for three different players; Sutton, Hartson and Lennon.
There was a long time when people wondered if we’d ever break that record and I complained bitterly about their lack of imagination all the way through that time.
Celtic will break the Edouard record at some point. We will break the Scottish transfer record, which is what Ibrox paid for Tore Andre Flo. In some ways, I am only amazed that we’ve not put that to the sword already, but we won’t do it simply because it’s there to be broken.
We’ll do it because the game has changed enough and we’re sure enough about the player that when it happens it won’t seem like a big deal at all.
The current transfer record between Scottish clubs is what we’re talking about at the moment; that sits, right now, at £4.4 million, which we paid for Scott Brown.
That was back in 2007.
Adjusted for inflation, that’s £7 million; in short, a footballer now would cost you almost double what he would have then. If Aberdeen slap a £4 million price tag on this guy, then it’s a bargain compared to what Brown would cost you in the here and now.
Sydney Van Hooijdonk would cost us £4 million and we wouldn’t know what we’d be getting for that money. The Danish striker Mathias Kvistgaarden is valued at more than £8.5 million, and that would represent a huge outlay and a massive punt.
We could have Van Hooijdonk and Miovski both for that kind of cash.
When we paid the big money for Edouard, he was coming from the PSG academy, he had already proved that he could score goals for the French at every level below their senior ranks and most importantly, he’d been with our club for a year and we were very clear on what we had and what he could do.
That was a no-brainer. To spend that on Mathias Kvistgaarden, when we have no idea how he’d do in a Celtic shirt, would be “silly money.”
Miovski plays on our doorstep. He has goals against all our clubs, and a happy knack for getting them against Ibrox. He has European goals too now, to add to the list of impressive qualities.
He’s 24, and a full international.
£4 million is absolutely not “silly money” for a guy about whom we know all this.
It’s the going rate.
We are far more likely to do transfer business like this than we are to take a mad punt. And Aberdeen is perfectly entitled to hold out for an acceptable fee considering that they are the side who found this guy and brought him here for a modest sum.
So I’m not buying it. I’m not buying the idea that it would represent “silly money” for Celtic, even if we paid a new record between Scottish clubs.
It’s chump change in the modern game, and if we’re buying a striker from abroad he’ll either cost us that anyway or he’ll be some mad project signing, cheap for sure, but with good reason.
This is the signing we’re betting the title on. It has to be right.
And beyond that, it’s the signing we’re betting on for backing up Kyogo and Oh into next season.
Miovski might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I would far rather we went searching for the finished article in Europe and paid the going rate … but that’s likely to cost in that Edouard price range and unless we have a target in mind it would be a punt of a different sort.