May is not out, the manager is not formally in place yet, but there’s an early bit of transfer rumblings underway as Celtic begin the process of building a squad for an attack on The Nine.
In response to speculation linking Celtic to one of his players, Motherwell chief exec, Alan Burrows, wrote on Twitter, “figures in papers are often educated stabs and not a true reflection on either what one/any club might be prepared to pay or the other might be prepared to accept.”
In short, any inquiry from Celtic for David Turnbull is at an early stage and conversations will not be around the figures reported.
We have 93 days like this until the transfer window closes….
Like you, I enjoyed watching Patrick Roberts. He is a gifted player and good professional. His could have been a permanent signing for Celtic but Pep Guardiola had other ideas. Now he has signed a new contract, keeping him at at Manchester City for another three years, a club he will almost certainly never play competitively for, while simultaneously agreeing to a one year loan at newly promoted Norwich.
It is hard to escape agricultural metaphors when watching what the tier one clubs in England do with young talent. They are a crop to hoard and sell, not to consume. City paid Fulham £12m for Patrick four years ago. His new contract will be worth several millions per year, and when his value is right, they will sell him. This is a business model, independent of first team considerations.
A season in the English Premier League could be enough to raise a fee in excess of £20m, but there is a risk going to Norwich. Patrick’s talents are most valuable unlocking packed defences. Players of craft are less valued the further down the league you go, where robustness and counter-attacking football has become mandatory.
He would contribute his share in that Manchester City squad, or at Celtic, but his bit-part season at relegated Girona is a portent of what could lie ahead for him in Norwich. At least he’ll be able to catch the tunes on North Norfolk Digital.