You and I discussed how unusual it was for Celtic to discuss selling Josip Juranovic (27) 10 weeks before the next transfer window opens, especially as he has three and a half years left on his contract. The emergence of Canada right back Alistair Johnston (24) as a target suggests our transfer business is being conducted strategically, not tactically. Why, you may ask, has it not always been so? Answer below.
We have seen enough of the business to know nothing is for certain. Josip will not leave cheaply, so whoever covets him will have budget and, therefore, several options. Alastair Johnston could do with toning down his World Cup performances. We don’t want targets doing well on the greatest stage to show their swagger; there is a genuine chance other suitors will emerge in the weeks ahead.
If Celtic swap out a player for one they perceive as a better option and manage to make a profit, it should be considered a clear success. But the transfer business! You start out working strategically, so often you end up with reactive mode.
We have been on the front foot in recent transfer windows, getting business done early. That trend continues with the signing of Yuki Kobayashi. Celtic believe economic challenges over the last two years have softened the market for them.
We have another window to concern ourselves with, the 18 months between now and when Champions League changes begin in 2024. The squad is nowhere near strong enough to ensure we are where we need to be to be part of the story in 2024. The softness in the transfer market will change eventually, we need to have a lot of the heavy lifting in the squad improvements done by then.