Reports that Jozo Simunovic may have failed his medial (not always a euphemism for rejecting a derisory contract offer) at Torino come as little surprise, but will be a distraction to Celtic as they had backfill offers ready to move. The player is fit, but will need to put a season together which demonstrates this beyond all doubt.
Some insight into what failing a medical can sometimes mean might be useful:
Medicals provide an overview of a player’s condition. When an issue appears, as will often happen by default for a previously injured player, an alert is raised. The buying club can then instruct a more detailed examination of the player. Celtic occasionally send players to London for a second examination for this purpose. Even then, with the best medical opinion money can buy, you are presented with no more than an opinion.
Whatever the first or second examination determines, the information is presented to the club, who have a decision to make. If the player’s VO2 Max isn’t where it should be, but he’s not trained for six months, they might be prepared to take the chance. Clubs seldom get a scan which reveals something as decisive as a piece of bone hanging off. An evidence based but subjective view is taken. Turino may be here right now.
The Jozo situation is symptomatic of the problems and opportunities of deadline day. If Jozo stays, another player, his club and agent, will only now be looking for an alternative move if Celtic is no longer an option. That will seriously annoy those concerned but this is the nature of the day, and creates opportunities for others.
Our principle target to add to the squad (not to swap like-for-like) is a midfielder. We’ve been working on this for a while but the nature of the target is such that there can be no guarantees, even at this stage.
What I can repeat is that despite what has again been reported (and at the risk of standing on a lonely ledge), Celtic have no idea where the James McCarthy story came from. It didn’t come from them and there is nothing in it.