Celtic Set For A Busy Transfer Window As The Squad Cull Kicks Into Gear.

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According to reports, we’re going to lose as many as five players out of the squad over the course of the day. We may, or may not, get one incoming. I am decidedly and distinctly underwhelmed by the prospect of the signing. My general attitude to another loan deal is “so what?” We’re stockpiling money for a rainy day apparently not watching the weather.

No, today is all going to be really about who leaves. At the moment there are rumours about Lagerbielke, Johnston, Forrest, Turnbull and Bernabei. All five are first team squad members. The first team squad is bloated all to Hell and there will be few who will miss some of these guys. We also need to get others off the wage bill; Kobayashi won’t play, the decision to retain McCarthy going into the last day is a joke I think might bite us on the backside … much of this will come down to what the status on the injuries to Carter Vickers and Hatate are.

We can’t keep Lagerbielke. That’s a given. He’s not wanted and he knows it. We need to ship him out today, and his little tantrum to the media might have been unprofessional, but how would you feel if you were in his shoes? He’s pissed off and quite right to be. It’s not his fault he’s surplus to the manager’s requirements, but let me remind you that it’s not really the manager’s fault either. He is working with somebody else’s blueprints.

Still, losing a centre back whilst we wait on the news about Carter Vickers and without at least trying to replace him is utter nonsense. And bear in mind, we’ve actually lost two players out of our central defence in this window, with the other being Natt Phillips. If that’s why Kobayashi is being retained that makes even less sense as he’s further out of the picture than the Swede. I have to think we’ll make some further effort to move him out as well.

Bernabei will stay unless we sign a left back. I don’t care who the left back is, as I’ve said already, as I’m prepared to be completely unimpressed by the signing based on who the forward is, but getting that waste of a shirt out of the club, a player who cost us a tidy sum and has contributed the sum total of nil except to annoy and frustrate everyone at the club, would be a welcome relief and ought to be a key priority. He simply will not do.

Losing Forrest would surprise me, to be honest. It seems like a shoddy way to treat a one club player, to ruin that record by shuffling him out on loan somewhere. Forrest offers ten times more than Johnson and twenty times more than Tillio. I think he’s probably a better player, even now, than Yang is. Tillio, of course, is gone already. He’s back in Australia where he should have stayed in the first place. We paid £1 million for him. That’s farcical, it’s the kind of deal where you want to see someone investigated for taking a backhander.

Mikey Johnstone’s loss, on the other hand, will be a blessed relief. As long as he’s in the building people will be drawn to play him, and nobody should be flirting with that temptation another minute longer. It’s a loan deal. Hopefully we’ve at least included an option to buy and at a realistic enough price that it might be attractive. Letting him go on a free would not, in my opinion, significantly cost us money at this point, and the support in the main wouldn’t care.

But the loss of David Turnbull feels like one. He was never the player we wanted him to be and saw no signs of turning into one, but he scored goals and he contributed assists and when he was on his game I thought he was an excellent footballer. Consistency lets him down, that and his lack of any sort of physical presence, but he had a wonderful knack of finding the net and we are going to miss that. He also had excellent dead-ball delivery and we have too few players in the team who even seem to work on those skills, as I’ve written about before.

His replacement in the squad is Holm, who with all due respect looks miles off Turnbull when it comes to scoring goals, and you cannot replace a scoring midfielder with a non-scoring one. The £2 million we’re getting for him should be reinvested in the squad for another player in midfield and that’s especially true with the latest Hatate injury issue; although we don’t know the extent of that we should be prepared for the worst, I think.

It was also likely that Turnbull would leave now though, whilst there’s the possibility of a transfer fee for him. So, we really ought to have been targeting another midfield player. But of course not. It’s apparently too complicated for our board to identify a forward with months of lead time and a left back with almost two years of it … so of course there was no plan in place for this, that would be too much to expect of our world class recruitment guru.

But there’s always James McCarthy. We should be thankful for that, I guess.

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  • Charlie Green says:

    I wonder if we would have managed to have kept Carter-Vickers if he hadn’t been injured. Perhaps his agent knows knows something and told him to sign post haste.

    Not sure what the problem is with Turnbull. Would be my first choice in the midfield and yes before McGregor, as, as you say, he scores goals and assists. What’s not to like?

  • Pat says:

    It’s disappointing if Forrest is being pushed out the door as he is, rightly, a legend at the club. History will prove that. If he wants to go then fine.

    The decision to give CCV a 5 year extension has hopefully been made with a view to his seemingly continuing injury worries. If not, then the board have blundered.

    Totally agree on Bernabei, but he is not alone. There are a catalog of gems, projects and absolute duds over the years that have haemorrhaged money from us. As fans we need to start by not accepting these players. We deserve players where we spend £ms on to hit the ground running. And while a loan to buy option is a smart move, sometimes players and clubs won’t want to work like that. It our scouting and I recruitment is solid we should have no issues buying the right player. Of course, how can we trust this board to do anything right when it comes to bringing players in.

  • Barry says:

    Turnbull looks completely out of sorts and few goals doesn’t make him a player. Johnson and Forrest should’ve been chased years ago

  • Peter Campbell says:

    Turnbull: I never thought he a good dead ball delivery, but to be fair to him, he’s not the only one.

    He’s definitely a good footballer though maybe not what Celtic need.

    My opinion of him has gone down since the time last season when he didn’t celebrate after a goal – not saying he was wrong to do that , but I do think his attitude has gone down since then.

    It’s right for him to go.

  • Bob (original) says:

    So, instead of Mikey being on the bench,

    we could see McCarthy instead??? 🙁

    The only positive – for PL, Board and BR – is that Saturday’s

    game is away at Aberdeen and not at home! 🙂

    The atmosphere at Celtic Park wasn’t the best last weekend,

    as we ground out a 1-0 win.

    BR has to get the team playing MUCH better football… immediately.

  • JimBhoy says:

    Don’t know whey everything is last minute with Celtic. Maybe it is the same for most clubs.

    January is a time to look out for players nearing contract end and working out if they would fit our weaknesses. Many many would who are in that position.

    Then the loans market, that shouldn’t cost more start to end of January window, it is a piece of business that does both clubs some good. Getting someone in early on loan allows them to adapt and hit the ground running.

    Sadly we miss out on these two key areas in January. This time tomorrow we will be hearing of the near misses we had with big names. Rangers have faired much better in January, that might be something we regret in May.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      ‘Rangers’ may well have fared better in January JimBhoy but not since January 2012 have they fared better as they kicked the bucket (c.2012) !

      Pedantic from me these replies but the truth nonetheless and The Survival Lie must not be allowed to live…

  • Jim says:

    This is how the speed at the start of the Window should have been done not in the last few hours of the window closing, it’s certainly looking amateurish if not ridiculous, have the lawwells been feeling a bit of heat and suddenly pounced into action?

    Hopefully the positions the team have needed strengthened will now take place with more urgency, but I’ll not hold my breath.

    Automatic entry in the champions league and all the millions that will go with it has been severely gambled with, due to the foot dragging from the board.

    They are the ones who will answer if this window ends up going pear shaped .

  • Effarr says:

    I thought losing Phillips did strengthen the team. Jamesie
    could go back to his first team at Ayr United. Could they not be a bit neighbourly and offer Johnson (the Mikey one)
    to OF Sevco on loan with an offer to buy at the end of the season for a fiver? They could even continue to pay his wages and even waive the rule about playing against your parent club.

    • Michael McCartney says:

      The insults you throw at Celtic players is shameful, People like you put me off football these days. No real Celtic supporter would talk absolute garbage like you.
      Disagreeing with the board is one thing, slagging off players especially a player like James Forrest who twice scored the goal that took us into the Group Stages of the Champions League is disgraceful.

  • Jim Duffy says:

    James why is our elite manager,” working to someone else’s blueprints” that can’t be right , well maybe it is because big Pete has got Rodgers by cajones.

  • Jamie Struthers says:

    Quite simply scunnered. Total incompetence from top top to bottom. Roll on next season

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Next season might not be ‘roll on next season’ Jamie…

      And with £72 million at our disposal as of 30/6/2023, it truly should be a clear cut case of Celtic – Double winners Season 2023/24…

      That it a under clear that it’s not a clear cut case is a truly appalling look on Rodgers, Nicholson, Daddy Lawwell and Sonny Lawwell !

  • Captain Swing says:

    The way things look at the moment, James McCarthy will still be at the club long after the manager has gone. He is our Winston Bogarde – might even outlast the Lawwells and Desmond…. he has staying power, and he’s staying put!

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Of course Turnbull will be jettisoned – especially for that money but potentially to the detriment of the team / squad of course…

    The rest are contributing very little (Forrest perhaps apart) and a saving on a little wages makes sense unlike the copious amounts that were wasted on them hanging around for so long !

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    Time to start helping Rogers out – protests before every home game from now till summer, to get Pedro & son out – can’t have huns in the heart of our club.


    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      I doubt that they are Huns metamorphically speaking but my goodness they are certainly giving us plenty ammunition to label them as closet such Huns…

      Nobody is saying they should have blown every penny of the savings but surely more than has been spent so far is not an unreasonable request –

      Especially with the prize financially fo Scotland’s 2023/24 Premier League Champions !

  • Joe McLaughlin says:

    As good a player and great Celtic man that he is James Forrest’s time is up as a first team choice at Celtic. Whoever gave him a 4 year contract at his age should be sacked. A year on year should have been offered at the most.
    Giving CCV a 5.5 year contract is also stupid given recent his injury problems. They should have waited to see how well he recovers plus I haven’t heard of anyone else getting a contract of that length.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    If James Forrest is leaving Celtic I hope it’s on his terms, if this board are moving him on to save money on wages it would be disgraceful. I used to hate the term “Biscuit Tin” but it looks as if someone at Parkhead, I wonder who? has brought it out from the back of a cupboard.
    If we don’t win the Title this season it will be a worse case of mismanagement than the 20/21 season.
    That season the board gambled on keeping 3 or 4 players who wanted to move on, and it backfired big time.
    Last Summer we sold our star player and one of our main C/B’s whilst a key midfielder retired. The level of players brought into the club, mostly wingers have not been up to the standard required.Our recruitment dept has failed.
    Luckily our main competitors for the title are not great but neither are we. It’s going to be too close to call, Which for a club with so much of a financial advantage like us is diabolical.

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