Through The Mill…
Now that the flurry of international games are over,some of our players can maybe get some well-earned rest at last. We all know from experience in our own workplaces that this time of year is one when many of our colleagues take their chance to rest their own weary bones,sit in the sun and recharge their batteries and forget all about work. Some members of the SMSM also indulge themselves in a wee break from work at this time,although unlike those who are honest about it and book their two weeks off officially,these charlatans choose to make up their stories about transfer targets for the bigger clubs,or impending moves away from them.
We are used to it all by now,of course. The only major surprise is that Morelos hasn’t been linked to a move to Barcelona yet,though I suspect that is only because they know that Barca can’t afford that billion pound transfer and signing on fee.
Now that it’s all gone quiet on the Bassey front,with no-one apparently willing to match the £25m transfer fee demanded,attention has clearly switched to possible ins and outs at Celtic Park. What really made me smile about the Bassey rumours is that Gerrard was apparently leading the chase. That will be the same Gerrard who signed him in summer 2020 but barely played him that season,btw. So it is clear that we should take the rumour mill with more than just a pinch of salt.
I’ll give you just a few of the latest ones concerning us. There is a left back playing in Argentina,one Alexandro Bernabei. Still only 21yo,he plays for Lanus,who only five years ago were in the Copa Libertadores final,so clearly a decent side-even if one that is new to me. Now,I think there is broad agreement that Celtic need another left back,one who can challenge Greg Taylor for his position. But with two main stumbling blocks to this move taking place,I doubt it will happen. The first is the £3.5m fee,probably a bit on the high side for a squad player. The other is his height,which at 5’7” is definitely a bit on the low side for a defender!
The next one is Rabbi Matondo. This is a strange one,as he too is only 21yo-yet moved three years ago from,wait for it,Manchester City to Schalke for a fee of up to £11m. He seemed at first to have settled into a regular place at the club,making plenty of appearances in the COVID-disrupted season of 2019-20,but soon dropped so far out of the picture that he was loaned for the next two seasons to Groningen in The Netherlands. He has struggled there since,and while there is no mention of a likely fee for the winger,he is in the last year of his contract,and I doubt if Schalke will be expecting much upfront for him. Personally,I doubt if we will see him up front for Celtic,as we have much better options available in that part of the pitch.
The longest running saga though is possibly the least likely of them all. Ko Itakura certainly plays in a part of the pitch where we are short of quality. And as well as being comfortable as a defensive midfielder,can apparently play at centre back too. Signed three years ago b,erm,Manchester City,he has been on loan to-are you seeing a pattern emerge here?-Groningen and Schalke 04.
Now,I will admit to knowing nothing about these three players,but that may well be one of the reasons why rumours like this spring up. Not too easy to dismiss them if you have little previous knowledge. How very clever of them. Of the three,I think the latter is an outside possibility,with the others total non-starters. But then,what did we know about some of our signings last summer and winter?
And here’s another thing. With most of those signings,the first we knew about them was when they were paraded in their new colours,scarf aloft! That seems to be Ange’s preferred method of doing business,and it has worked well so far for him and the club. Not many failures in his business dealings,and long may the trend continue.
The silly season is definitely upon us. Recent experience with AP,as well as long experience reading the trash in the sports pages suggests that we will be best served this summer by ignoring the latter and simply waiting for official confirmation of our signings from the club itself.
On which,I hope we get some positive news very soon about Jota!
Above article by BMCUWP