Celtic Must Respect Norwich And Idah. No Poker Game Over A Lousy Few Quid This Time.

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I think that by the time the window shuts that Adam Idah will be a Celtic player. I hope I’m right. But at the moment he isn’t. He’s a Norwich player and their CEO and their manager have both spoken about him in recent days and everyone is parsing their comments looking for a sign of what might be about to come. It doesn’t take a codebreaker to do it.

Norwich know they have an asset on their hands. Their CEO spoke the other day in terms of seeing him as one, and more than that, of wanting to see what he has and for him to see what the new boss has to offer him. As well as looking at what Idah could do for them, the talk is of “hoping” they can convince Idah that Norwich is where his future lies.

Which is the real story here. They know he wants to go, and that the club he wants to go to is Celtic. He loved every second of being at Celtic. He wants to win more trophies and titles and he wants to play in the Champions League. It’s a no-brainer for him, and I’m sure that he has made it clear to the hierarchy there that he’s made the big decision.

Still, he is their player and if they want to hang onto him they hold the cards. He’s got four years of his deal left. If they tell him he’s staying and give him a pathway to the first team, is he going to cause a stink? I don’t think he would. He seems to be a model pro. He might dig his heels in and insist he wants to go, but if they don’t want to sell him, he’s not going to down tools or anything like that. He may not love it, but he’ll do his best until he gets another move.

Celtic knows we have an important card here, and this is where I have concerns. Because we had the same card with John McGinn, and played it so badly that even looking back on it years later I still feel the same frustration and anger I felt at the time. Lawwell handled that disastrously, and as long as he is in the building and wielding influence – and of course he does, it is ridiculous for anyone to argue otherwise – I am going to worry that he repeats the same mistakes.

We are the ones who decided to do this loan deal without the security of a right to buy. We left the power in Norwich’s hands, and if they choose to use that power to get themselves the best deal they can then we need to respect that and act accordingly, for the sake of Adam Idah as well as for our own reputation. Low-balling them because this is where he wants to be cheapens us, cheapens him and treats Norwich as a club with contempt.

We know that there is a number which Celtic thinks is appropriate for this deal. We know that Rodgers values the player enough to insist that we drive a little beyond that if that’s what it takes. Some at Parkhead might do it reluctantly, but they will do it because the manager is entitled to that and he has the overwhelming support of the stands behind him, and that still counts. That still matters. That is still the real source of power at Celtic.

Norwich has to be realistic. They know what the player wants, and even if he stays they don’t need an unhappy player and they don’t want an unhappy player, even if he continues to pull his weight and put in performances. They also don’t want the reputation of stopping promising players from moving on when a dream move comes along.

There are good reasons for them to want to deal with this issue swiftly, and to the satisfaction of everyone concerned. There is a number that they will accept. There is a number beyond which we will not go. If the gap between those numbers is too high, we should stop messing about, make a final offer to test their resolve and then walk. Because time is creeping on and we’re not going to have Oh in the building much longer and we need a striker to challenge Kyogo.

But we all suspect the same thing; that there is a middle ground where they are satisfied and which we can afford. They know we can’t and won’t go higher than a certain number and it is not in their interests to put an insane valuation on his head, because nothing is more certain to unsettle a player than doing that, and if we walk away where’s the interest in him, especially if he doesn’t want to sign for someone else and makes it clear it’s only Celtic in his mind.

Yet we should not be banking on that wish being enough to force the issue here. With McGinn – and we didn’t pull that off, remember – not only was he a boyhood fan from a diehard Celtic family but he had a year left on his contract and so we tried to play hardball with Hibs by emphasising that fact, assuming, wrongly, that McGinn would wait. He didn’t.

We cannot make Norwich act against their own best interests, and they won’t anymore than we would act against ours by selling Matt O’Riley on the cheap. We owe Norwich the same respect we’d ask for in that regard. I get the importance of doing deals; I’m the guy who asked whether or not it was a good idea to spend £12 million on Idah and Bernardo because we’d be sinking a sizeable chunk of the transfer budget into standing still.

I will applaud the club if they can get Bernardo for £1.5 million less. I will be impressed if we get Idah for less than the £6 million everyone assumed we’d have to pay … but if we don’t, he’s worth the money. He, more I think than Bernardo, justified that price-tag. At a certain level this will become subject to the law of diminishing returns … but let’s not mess about in reaching the point where a compromise can be found.

Lawwell’s brinksmanship is lousy, and his judgement was off the last time he was doing this. Michael Nicholson should consider that if he’s planning similar tactics, especially if there’s not much between the two clubs in where they think the value should land. As I said, Norwich don’t want there to be, but they aren’t going to be treated like mugs either.

So for once, Celtic, don’t act like we’re the smartest kids in the class. We’ve been shown up doing that before. In this case, just do the damned business in a way that leaves everyone satisfied. The player is worth it. The manager wants him, and to be frank we’ve pissed away enough time this summer already.

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  • DixieD says:

    If reports are to be believed we’ve already had a low ball offer rejected. So just offer what we’re willing to pay and if it’s rejected move on, we must surely have other targets. If we offer what we’re willing to pay, we can move on without any regrets. If this drags on past the USA departure flight time, then the board really will start to turn the fans against them.

  • Chesterbhoy says:

    Everyone can remember the McGinn fiasco for the mess that it was but the biggest f up was TONEY he was in the building ready to sign when big Pete started his shenanigans.

  • Gerry says:

    Spot on James,
    Celtic’s previous parsimonious attitude over spending a few quid more, has cost us some really good talent, most notably McGinn, as you have mentioned.

    Let’s get these deals properly, and kickstart our transfer dealings in a positive way.
    Mordor is on its knees, and it’s time to strike out and strike ahead.

    No more financial bargain basement mentality !!!!

  • DixieD says:

    I actually think that if this board gets the Idah and Bernardo deals over the line, and get a decent keeper in, they’ll be standing back and giving each other high fives for a job well done. The way things are going we may be lucky to even get that! Lets face it, Miovski would be an easy signing if Idah’s not available. There must be a million decent keepers the world over that we’ve been able to scout since February when Joe gave his notice. Why do Celtic consistently make this more difficult than it should be. C’mon Celtic, ffs get some quality in the building!!

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Yep – Good article again James…

    Aye – Pistol Pete might think that he’s good at poker but he’s actually piss piss poor at it –

    McGinn for one as you say and Ivan Tonev was another as well if I remember correctly…

    I just hope that his prodigy Lord Lucan-Nicholson takes a different tack on such dealings at Celtic FC…

    But does the guy actually exist in this world !

  • Hugh barry smith says:

    Celtic still need a nother CF for back up to keygo so ge mosvkie inn now & if we get adan edai all the better top 3 strikers that can push each other more hungerer they get come on Celtic ee can afford it hail hail high barry smith. ????????????????????????????????

  • Kevin Lee says:

    Why all the fuss over Idah he was so far down the pecking order at Norwich he was almost forgotten scoring about 9 goals for celtic doesn’t make him a superstar celtic would be better trying to sign Shanklin or Miovski or better still both because they are proven goal scorers.

    • Marcus Suridius says:

      I don’t think anyone called Idah a “superstar” but has many of the forwards that Celtic got over the years that went on to be banging in the goals?

  • Antony Ivatt says:

    I wish the fans would force Peter out the door, the man’s a leech. Clinging onto any last wee bit of power he has. Rogers will walk away again and who could blame him? Make final bids and demands for idah,the goalie jensen and barnardo. If it’s not enough,move on. Do this to us every fu**ing year.
    Actually hate the man

    • Eldraco says:

      Where is the LB ? Goalie? CB? 3rd striker ? its a joke an absolute joke no one is talking about gettin them in well mibbie the goalie but the fact remains we are weaker we are NOT a CL team .

      Whats it all about alfie?

  • Johnny Green says:

    Aye, it’s time to stop fkn about, a take it or leave it bid and move on.

  • Jim M says:

    Miovski should have already been in the building whether Idah is signing or not , the foot dragging is what we’ve come to expect from lawwell , he needs to go , we’ve been in this situation before with his constant obsessive meddling, doing more damage again due to his messiah complex .

  • Tony B says:

    Celtic will never improve while Lawwell is still in the building.

    He is a parasite that needs excising from the club.

  • JimBhoy says:

    Oh will go, I thought that was a done deal so we need two strikers and maybe a project striker as Vata away and Mikey will surely go too.

    Proven scorer at Aberdeen should be our first choice make that easier move now show Norwich we will walk if they play hard ball.

    Let’s cast our net wider for better value for the £7-8m Idah will cost us, let Norwich stew. They will have a player on their hands who is not happy and not confident. He was 3rd choice striker FFS who took his opportunity at Celtic. He may not show that confidence or desire for a club who has spurned his chance at a step up to a big club. Norwich were 12th in the EFL last season, Celts are playing at the top table in Europe.

    Delia get a grip hen.!

  • JimBhoy says:

    You mention McGinn, go back a few years to McFadden…! £250k he would have cost.

  • LPATIM says:

    Well said, why the hell are we pissing around, pay the dosh and move on. Jesús we are even been linked with players on a free???? . Want to be taken as a serious big club then start acting like one.

  • Woodyiom says:

    Alex Ferguson gave the perfect answer to a question about the transfer of Robin Van Persie to Man U from Arsenal – paraphrasing he said “It was the same as all transfers – Arsenal got less than they wanted and we paid more than we wanted”

    Its that simple – we need to get this done or move on before we lose out on both Idah AND whoever else we have lined up in his stead !!!!

  • William says:

    A long way round to say Bernardo @ 4.5 million and Idah 5-6 million is good business How can it be standing still as these 2 are not Celtic players as yet Having both on a permanent basis strengthens the squad enormously btw I’d be happy selling O’Reilly and getting some more quality players in

  • Michael Clark says:

    As per usual Celtic Football Club are dragging their heels on summer signings. It’s pretty obvious after they limped over the line last season the team needs strengthening but nothings happened as yet. I wouldn’t hold your breath either, not with this present board in place not any better than the Kelly’s and the white’s

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