There is no point in you and I agreeing that Celtic will only maximise their potential if they stick ruthlessly to an elite player trading model, then prevaricating when it comes to executing. Jota is not the most important asset I want to hold into this summer – that would be Cameron Carter-Vickers. He is not second on that list – Kyogo takes that honour, while Callum McGregor is third. Our Portuguese magician is fourth.
They all have a price, even CCV. When it comes to Jota, we have to hope that figure would break a new threshold, eclipsing the £24m ceiling set by the sale of Kieran Tierney four years ago. While the reported offer of £25m would technically achieve that, if we could nudge the figure to £30m, it would sweeten the medicine somewhat.
Player values are determined by several factors, two important ones are top price achieved by the selling club and top price achieved by the seller’s league. ‘What’s their top selling price?’ is one of the first questions I’ve heard ask when a bid is being considered.
£25m is on plan. It would allow us to achieve immediate objectives: sell at a profit, re-invest in areas needed and offer more attractive wages. Although he’s only fourth top in my retention list, no one else in the squad is likely to attract a higher bid than Jota. His age (24) and the four-year balance on his contract makes him the most likely player in the squad to break Tierney’s ceiling.
Although an extra £5m (minus Benfica cut) would be useful in itself, it’s what that £30m valuation would do for the value of the rest of the squad that’s more important. It is a decade since we sold Victor Wanyama, our first >£10m player. Within a year of that barrier being broken, Fraser Forster followed, then Virgil van Dijk two years after that.
It is four years since Tierney burst through the £20m barrier. Getting to £30m is the next strategic goal. It would mean anyone looking at Celtic players next year would have to come with a heavier wallet.
There will be a third blog later this afternoon to discuss new signing Marco Tilio.