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Another Strange Ibrox Signing, And Our Incurious Media Isn’t Asking A Single Question.

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Today the Ibrox club “signed” Oscar Cortes, the winger from France who they’ve had on their books since January, and who was promptly injured and out for weeks. He played seven games for them. He scored one goal. They have now extended his loan for a further year, with an obligation to buy him next summer. The reports do not mention a specific fee.

Rumours yesterday suggested that The French club Lens would want £4 million for him, or thereabouts. That’s the sum they paid for him, so they are simply looking to get their money back. Now, on the surface of it, this is not unlike deals which we’ve struck, such as those for Lagerbielke and Nawrocki, who could both be moved out this summer if we can recoup our dough. But actually, there are a couple of big differences … and no-one in our press corps cares.

There is something so odd with this story that it’s hard to know where to start. So let’s start with the two players I just named, the two Celtic defenders.

We know what went wrong there. Rodgers came in as boss and these guys were signed without his ever having clapped eyes on them. He literally trusted that people at the club knew what they were doing and it turned out they didn’t have the first clue. So that’s what went wrong there, the people who signed the players screwed up because two departments at Celtic did not work together like the well-oiled machine they are supposed to be.

So, in our case, you had a “head of recruitment” working off Daddy’s blueprint and a new manager who trusted that there was a system in place at the club which worked. And I’m not even saying that Nawrocki and Lagerbielke are necessarily bad players, they just don’t fit into the Rodgers system and he made that decision on them very quickly indeed.

But the Strange Case Of Oscar Cortes is not like that. Not at all. It screams weirdness when you look at it, and our media is so incurious and so doped on the Ibrox Kool Aid that they haven’t even bothered to assess this critically. It is astonishing.

Firstly, RC Lens bought him from the Colombian club Millonarios. They used to be owned by the drug lord Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha. Now both clubs are owned by one of those multi-club entities which seem to be everywhere in football, so when RC Lens “bought him” for £4 million that was more or less an intra-club switcheroo than a straight up transfer.

If he’s so highly rated, why the intra-club transfer and not just a direct one to a bigger team somewhere else? And what motivated the transfer to France in the first place? He barely played a minute for their first team, and then they loaned him out to the Ibrox club, and now have agreed to let him go on a permanent move as long as they get their money back for him. But it was the parent club’s money in the first place as the same entity owns both sides.

Also, this isn’t a case of a player arriving at a club and taking a new manager by surprise. Not at all. RC Lens, who have a good history of signing and developing players, are managed by Franck Haise, who has been at the club for eons, having coached their B team before being promoted to the top job in 2020. So whatever happened with Cortes, it wasn’t because the signing was imposed on him or that he was kept out of the loop.

What exactly is going on with the media in this country that they aren’t asking why a guy who has just broken into his team in Colombia is “sold” to a club in France who then promptly shift him out on loan (where he gets injured almost at once) and are now prepared to leave him on loan on the promise of money for him in a year’s time?

Is this how one of the most highly rated prospects in the homeland usually gets treated? Or does this smell as weird to you as it does to me, folks? It’s as if Millonarios couldn’t wait to get him off the wage bill, pushed him out to France and now they can’t wait to get him off the wage bill themselves. What are we supposed to conclude from his injury? Another victim of the Ibrox Curse, or does his club know something the one at Ibrox doesn’t?

It is one of the oddest transfers I’ve seen in a long time, but some in the media are already hailing it as a masterstroke. Do these people ever intend to do any actual work on this stuff, or are they really content to be spoon-fed their lines from Ibrox? Even the structure of the deal – buy now and pay later – proposes questions, this time about their finances.

And as we all know, there is no motivation whatsoever amongst the hacks for asking questions about that thorny subject. Which is why we so often do it.

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  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    The fourth line on the article at the bottom of this iPad nails it for sure…

    “Are they really content to be spoon-fed their lines from Ibrox” – (Liebrox)

    They were then, They are now, They will be forever !

  • John Copeland says:

    And so the Ibroxland ‘ revolution ‘ has erupted into force ! They have offered Balogun at 35 , a new contract ! They have extended Cortes’s loan deal as he’s been out injured for months and months ! And have bought in Jefre for around £400.000 sovs ,being described as the left sided Tavpen ! Exiting days currently in Govanland ,no doubt ? Pity about the lack of compensation for Bisgrove though ……

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    It’s just the pre-season ibrox hype and bullshit we’ve come tae expect. Tbh ahm no interested whit they’re doin. Ah want tae see some EARLY activity on the transfer side with our club. None of this last minute dealin for bargains. Get some money spent on players. It’s what WE dae that’s the question here.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Weird or not, in the few games I saw him before he got injured he looked like a fairly decent player, and if he is continuing his loan with no further dosh required at this stage, then for the cash strapped huns it’s a no brainer. They are doing the right thing under the circumstances I would say.

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    Who cares who they buy or get on loan”I just want Celtic to buy more better players and move on the ones Rodgers does not rate .

    • James Forrest says:

      Hey, when YOU are writing this blog YOU can decide what content goes up.

      If you don’t like an article READ SOMETHING ELSE.

      “Who cares?” is a fairly ludicrous comment.

    • Henriksgoldenboot says:

      I happen to be on the same train of thought as you Peter, much to the chagrin of the disgruntled blogger!!

      If we do the right thing and turn over the dead wood at the club and bring in the best quality players we can get that suits our budget then it will NEVER matter what they do over there!

  • Brattbakk says:

    In the 7 games Cortes lasted he obviously showed Clement he’s better than what he’s got (now Silva is away, haha) I predict he’ll play less than 7 games this season due to injury and they’ll try and worm out of the permanent transfer. Probably issue a statement

  • Jimmy B says:

    As I understand it it isn’t an option to buy at the end of the season, they HAVE to cough up the 4mil. Wit a risk for an injury prone player. Laughable. Everything points to the fact they have no choice as they’re skint. Bizzare indeed but wonderfull, haha.

  • Bob (original) says:

    On the face of it:

    a 19 year old with less than a season under his belt,

    is ‘transferred’ internally from a South American club to a

    French club – at an artificially inflated value of $5M…?

    His first French game is in December, then he’s off to Ibrox the very next month?

    There is so much money sloshing around football – and a lot of dodgy characters.

  • Effarr says:

    At least they are making an effort to improve. I know it`s early days but I can see the same pattern commencing at CP as that of the January window. I noticed after only three days of that, that Celtic were beginning to drag their feet and I can`t see much changing in the immediate future. The only thing the board will be thinking is that they won a double: the manner of the winning will be completely brushed under the carpet now that the nerves have subsided and the fingernails a bit longer.

  • harold shand says:

    Big Idah put the tin lid on the ‘ Phil has Rodgers number ‘ spin all summer that they were hoping a hun win would bring

    So it’s hype up all the new signings any way they can

    Even the ones who end up knocking them back .

    Re: Cordoba . Future star of the EPL

  • Paul Kelly says:

    Yeng, Oh, Kwon, Kyogo, Rocky, Lagerbielke, Holm, Kobayashi Palma, and Kuhn look sh!te. There’s 2 pfa players of the year last seasin and 2 young Scandinavian internationals.
    An awful lot of players don’t fit into Rodgers system. Doesn’t really bode well for “development” of young players which he’s supposed to be doing!

    • James Forrest says:

      Oh give it a fucking rest.

      How many times does it need to be pointed out that this is what happens when bean-counters bring in players the managers have no use for?

      Honestly, you’d think some of you would have leeched the anti-Rodgers poison out of your veins by now.

  • Joe McQuaid says:

    I recall we had a similar loan with commitment to buy on one or two of our Japanese players although think it was more of an admin thing and Ange obviously knew the players.
    Strikes me this is Sevco using Klarna to buy players without the right of return! And the specific transfer history here is very curious.

  • Saulgoodman says:

    I’m old enuf to remember gerry mcnee used to call the celtic view – PRAVDA – Google it young celts – the daily hun , ranger , record is the same – tell the readers what they want to hear , oldest trick in the book – GULLIBLE HA HA .

    • Johnny Green says:

      Ahem,… the Celtic View really is supposed to do exactly that, publish good news about Celtic and that is why they are the Club’s own publication.

      So I don’t see the comparison with the DR, a supposedly impartial publication.

      So, what’s your point caller?

  • MeeCee says:

    Yip their signings as per usual are hyped up by the so called sports writers here. If Celtic had a player on loan who almost immediately got injured and didn’t play then we signed the same injured player for the next season along with agreeing to buy him at the end of the loan time there would have been a 12 page pull out in the rags detailing how desperate Celtic are! The only worry is this board of ours can look across at them and decide we don’t need to spend big they aren’t going to improve. Hopefully Brendan can get his way with bringing in the players he wants.

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