Anatomy of transfer negotiations


Getting your top targets in is usually difficult to do in the middle of a transfer window, even more so in January.  The selling club is incentivised to make you wait until the last few days, while they work on attracting a competitive bid.  Whatever your opening bid is, it’s not enough.  Why would it be?

There is a notion that clubs simply have to pay the asking price to get a deal over the line.  What reluctant seller issues an asking price?  Do we have one for Matt O’Riley?  Of course not.  Any bid early in a transfer window for a top Celtic player who was under a long-term contract would be declined with a “not interested in selling” line, no matter what the price was.

If they will offer £X on 15 Jan, they will pay £X+Y on the 27th.  Despite what you read in the newspapers (apparently you do), asking prices are only issued in two circumstances: either when a club is actively trying to sell a player, or when they think the buyer will pay an outrageous fee well above value (some Saudi clubs fell into this category recently).

A simple response along the lines of “We think we can attract a higher bid from England/Germany” is sufficient to stall.  So you open with a bid that you know will be rejected, it is always rejected, then the process either stalls or edges closer to a deal.  If, as reported, Celtic have concluded a deal to sign top target Nicolas Kuhn from Rapid Vienna this early in the month, something else is at play.  Rapid are in financial crisis, dependent on borrowings and have recently failed to meet regulatory obligations.

At the halfway stage in the Bundesliga they are eight points off a Europa League spot.  The Conference League is a more likely target, but they failed to make it through the qualification rounds of that tournament this season, so they will have limited hope of a run in the competition next term.

In these circumstances, “Hard currency, why, sir, that’ll do nicely”, can be compelling.  A desperate need of money (increasingly common in Europe) would test the resolve of any club.  Kuhn is a top target for Celtic, so let’s hope the deal goes through.

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  1. I hope Kuhn comes in and does well.


    But I do recall relatively recently we signed 3 players from a club in financial dire straights.


    One left after a 4 month loan


    One is in Stoke and I doubt we will get our money back.


    The only success went to Spain at below market value, and I suspect took advantage of a release clause.


    When we evaluate our return on investments, we need to look at the total package ie for every O Riley there are 2 or 3 Sorros, and the headline profit doesn’t tell the full story.

  2. HT S Korea 1 Bahrain 0


    Incidentally , Oh on the bench , Yang not in match day squad , as far as I can see

  3. The Sky-Sevco deal,tells you they’re desperate for any cash they can get, at the same time devaluing their Season Tickets for PPV games.

  4. bournesouprecipe on




    Good punt is Nicolas Kuhn things looking brighter with Palma and Kuhn in BR preferred two wide men system. Don’t expect system change until summer very much dependant on how the season pans out, priority now is a proven striker. Preferably someone not just to cover the Asian Cup, but a permanent long term player or loan with buy option. Maeda and Abada as impact subs, with Yang the developing player.



    Plenty of room in the revolving Parkhead door.

  5. The Sevco Sky deal looks very much to be in Sevco’s favour imo. I’ve had concerns about Sky Sports Scotland being pro Ibrox for some time and this deal only reinforces that.



    I don’t know what the numbers are for PPV games so the money the Huns now get in addition may not be significant but they obviously feel it’s worthwhile.

  6. SCANIEL on 15TH JANUARY 2024 12:17 PM


    BIG JIMMY, NUMBER ONE SON,- very sad news about your Da.





    Take Care, Big Mhan.




    Thank you SCANIEL…..and Thank You to ALL who Posted on the previous thread about my DA’s passing.


    Its been a comfort to read all the kind words. this morning.



    I was my DA’s ONLY Child from his first marriage. I never knew my Mother, as she buggered off when I was only a few months old, leaving me and my DA.


    Despite this, he always loved her but he could never understand how a Mother could leave an infant child behind. He spoke about this just recently from his Care Home.


    He later re married and had Three sons to his second wife.



    He would often call me ” NUMBER ONE SON”…..ESPECIALLY, if he was skint and needed a loan of some money.





    He LOVED the Celtic all his days, and he was wearing his new Celtic Tammie that my auld auntie had knitted for him recently,, when he passed away.


    As I posted earlier, my DA was a ” Gentle Giant”…but Hell mend anyone who angered him.





    HH Bhoys.



    Again, thank you to ALL who have Posted.

  7. Hope we get him Paul. We need genuine wide right options to balance the excess we have of those more comfortable on the left.



    Clash City



    I think Starfelt was a kind of ‘fire sale’ purchase and we did well to get 2 good years from him (despite the negative shite we heard from some of our customers about the guy) and made a profit.

  8. An Dun



    No doubt sky sports editorial bias in favour of the Huns.



    No doubt they are a commercial entity and there is no way a deal would be done by anyone just to suit a club. This deal will work commercially for sky. I am certain of that.



    Perhaps we can learn from it if it does work ? Or perhaps not if it doesn’t. Personally I reckon most who want to watch their home games will do so on a dodgy RTV feed anyway.



    Not worth getting get up about. Another smokescreen for inactivity and bottom feeding in the window imo.

  9. Lullabies and Battle Cries on

    Big Jimmy



    Sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad, the memories will see you through it.

  10. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Great article Paul.



    Explains the complexity of a process which the SMSM routinely dumb down to



    “Club – here’s a cheque / player – sign here”

  11. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Posted a link earlier to Fabrizio Romano Twitter.



    If you’re looking for tidbits about Celtic incoming, forget it.



    Celtic don’t do deals in public.



    Fabrizio is the point man of a hack pyramid.



    He tweets what he gets.



    And Celtic incomings are positives …. so our hacks don’t give him any such rumours.



    That said, I find his Twitter page interesting on two fronts.



    1. The extent to which most clubs, incl. big ones in Italy are hampered by FFP.



    2. The (frightening) extent to which 16, 17 and 18 year olds are being pursued for fees in the range of €5m to €18m.

  12. Prestonpans bhoys on

    I think we are going to dislike this nutjob more than Beale…..



    “Clement said: “I don’t even want to talk about the red card. This is a friendly game and you know that in the southern countries strange things happen. It’s not important.”

  13. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    PB @ 1:39pm – Lol.



    So the veneer has slipped then?



    Philip is like a luxury Belgian chocolate.



    Soft, smooth and milky on the outside, dark on the inside.

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