Are Celtic Assessing Swiss-Born International Midfielder?

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AFTER some tricky moments for Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers in the 2023/24 Premiership campaign, which included losing our advantage temporarily at the top of the table, with 33 games now played, advantage is again ours as we have battled hard to restore a three point gap over the nearest challenger.

With a 6-5 penalty victory over Aberdeen late last month to put ourselves through to the Scottish Cup Final once again, as preparations for the visit of Rangers continue, there is far more confidence around the club that this could again be a pretty good season, particularly in light of the difficulties we had faced, not least the injury issues that knocked our form for a while and the likes of BetUS probably did not see that stroke of bad luck coming.

With the end of the campaign nearing, and the summer quickly approaching, Celtic fans will be hoping for a busier off season given January was ultimately disappointing and there is plenty of rumor mill speculation doing the rounds, and one of the latest is Cremonese talent Charles Pickel.

Football Scotland have recently been reporting that the Italian Serie B club are looking to cash in on the services of the 26 year old defensive midfielder before the start of the 2024/25 campaign, and that we have been contacted for an expression of interest.

The suggestion is that we put out feelers for potential defensive midfield options through our network and that the 12 capped DR Congo international is one of the names that came back following that request, and our recruitment team have added his name to their lists and that they are now assessing whether or not he should come into our consideration as someone who fits the profile that we are looking for this summer.

It is being suggested that Pickel’s preferred destination would be Scotland and Celtic if the option was open to him, but other reports are saying that English Championship clubs including Leeds United and Preston North End are also keeping a close eye on him.

He is however, under contract to Cremonese until the summer of 2026, so they would likely wish to maximise their fee, and from our point of view if we ultimately do end up having an interest in him, their valuation on him would be of particular interest to any decisions we then subsequently took.

The player would not seem to object to totally uprooting again as the Swiss born player has already moved around a fair bit looking to maximise his career and take in new experiences. Having come through Basel’s youth set up, he moved to Grasshoppers and took in loan spells with FC Schaffhausen and Neuch√Ętel Xamax.

His next journey was to France with Ligue 1 team Grenoble, before switching to Portuguese side Famalicao and then taking in Italia’s Serie A as Cremonese signed him having won promotion from Serie B – before then suffering relegation again that year.

After this year’s injury problems, what might be of interest to Rodgers is that although he is predominantly a defensive midfielder, he is capable of taking in numerous other positions, including playing in a more advanced role or even filling in at full back.

We will have to see what the club actually plans to do this summer.

 

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