Josip Juranovic, who was recently mentioned as a target for Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, is reported by Sky Sports to be heading to Monza, currently 15th in Serie A, for around £7m. It is neither the move nor the fee I was hoping for Josip. His spectacular World Cup performances, especially in the quarter final win over Brazil, had me expecting he would move on for a more substantial fee and to a tier one club.
Celtic put the For Sale sign up for Josip since before he headed to Qatar, unusually announcing they were unable to agree a new contract for a player with 3.5 years left on his current deal. He was given the responsibility of going to-to-toe with Neymar, a test he passed with merit. Still, there are no big bidders.
Despite the balance on his contract, with his replacement already starting at right back (and looking like an upgrade), we are at peak value for Josip, so should move him on. Potential buyers will be less keen to cough up a large fee if he has been playing backup or putting in mixed performances at left back.
The fee is less of a disappointment than the lack of interest from a top club. Kieran Tierney remains the only player to have left Celtic to a genuinely wealthy side since Henrik (Lyon were close). Kieran, a genuine talent, has had mixed success in London and his most often second choice left back at Arsenal. This is not helpful to Celtic.
For Celtic’s business model to flourish, we need to punch the same weight as Dutch and Portuguese sellers. If you are a pathway to Arsenal, Barcelona or once-removed to Liverpool (Virgil), you find it easier and cheaper to recruit players with potential. To make any of this possible, Champions League results are necessary, performances SPFL just don’t count. There is a lot of work ahead.
Should Premiership teams play Sweet Georgia Brown when Connor Goldson walks out of their tunnel? If you know, you know. Sunday’s ‘arms by his side’ nonsense at Tannadice was the worst yet.