With just over a week left until the transfer window slams shut players and managers all over the country are working into extra-time trying to find the right move.
But for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic it must feel like Christmas this year with a whole host of stars from England’s top flight desperate to sign for the hoops.
With Paddy Roberts all but signed and sealed for at least another season he could yet be joined by more proven quality in the coming days.
It’s a sign of how much Celtic’s stock has risen in the past year after an invincible treble and more recently a 5-0 Champions League play-off win.
We have it in good authority that at least five Premier League stars, including two former Celts, have made contact with the Parkhead club to tell them they would be first choice for any potential move.
1. James McCarthy (Everton)
Current Wages: 30k a week
Probable fee: £2.5m (most likely a loan deal)
The former Hamilton midfielder fell out of favour at Goodison last year and was close to signing a one-year-deal with Celtic at this stage in 2016. After making only 12 appearances for the Merseyside club in the whole of last season the highly rated midfielder is desperate to get back to playing regularly. He has made it clear his first choice would be Celtic Park but with the recent acquisition of Olivier NtCham and Stuart Armstrong signing a new deal it looks unlikely that Rodgers will want to add another central midfield player, although the Northern Irishman is a huge admirer of the Glasgow born Ireland international who cost Everton close to £14m four years ago.
2. Robert Snodgrass (West Ham)
Current Wages: 45k a week
Probable Fee: £3m
Despite paying £10m for him just over 6 months ago West Ham have told Robert Snodgrass he can leave and have put him on the transfer market. He is already thought to have lucrative offers on the table from Newcastle and Crystal Palace but the 29 year old showed in January that money isn’t his main concern when he knocked back a move to China worth in excess of over £100k a week. His main ambition is to stay in the Scotland squad for the next campaign and he has told friends and agents that he would love a move to his boyhood heroes. However with his age and hefty fee and the fact Celtic have Tom Rogic and Stuart Armstrong competing for the attacking midfield role a move for Snodgrass is unlikely to happen unless anything changes in the next 5 or 6 days.
3. Jason Denayer (Manchester City)
Current Wage: 18k a week
Probable fee: 1.5m
Jason Denayer has never hidden his affection for Celtic or his desire to return to the club one day. Manchester City have made it clear the Belgian international is nowhere near their first team plans and will let him go for a cut-price deal. Denayer spent a year on loan in Glasgow three years ago and formed a formidable partnership with Virgil Van Diijk at the heart of defence. He is popular among Celtic fans also remains close friends with Patrick Roberts, Dedrick Boyata and James Forrest. With his age and the fact Celtic are actively seeking a defender Denayer may yet get his wish if other deals fall through. He is believed to be Rodgers’ third choice centre back option.
4. James Morrison (West Brom)
Current Wage: 25k a week
Probable Fee: £2m/Bosman
The Scottish centre mid has been one of the EPL’s most consistent performers over the past three years under the guidance of Tony Pulis. But contract negotiations with the club have broken down and he has made it clear where he wants to go next should the chance arise. He couldn’t hide his disappointment when a potential last minute move to Celtic fell through last year and makes no secret of his wish to return. He told a midlands radio show last week that his one last ambition is to play in the Champions League and also spoke about how much he enjoys playing with ‘guys like Scott Brown’ on Scotland duty. With his contract only having a year left to run it’s more likely that any potential move will be put on hold until January when he can sign for free.
5. Joe Ledley (Free agent/ Crystal Palace)
Current wage: £0
Probable Fee: £0
Welsh ace Joe Ledley was a huge fans favourite at Celtic Park in his three years with the club under Neil Lennon’s management. But being the joint-highest paid player at the club at the time he became the first casualty of Celtic’s two and a half years of cut backs after the Rangers debacle. He is currently without a club but has been training with former clubs Crystal Palace and Cardiff after knocking back big-money moves to Turkey and China. Still remains close with current stars Scott Brown and James Forrest who all regularly holiday together with former team-mates Kris Commons, Charlie Mulgrew, Adam Matthews, Anthony Stokes and Gary Hooper.
Would you like to see any of these five in hoops by the start of September? If not who should Brendan Rodgers be looking to bring in to enhance his squad for Champions League efforts?
Let us know in the comments and follow The Fitbaw Gospel for more updates.