BOJAN MIOVSKI took the opportunity at the weekend to illustrate why he has scored 19 goals this season.
The North Macedonian striker tricked and teased the exposed Maik Nawrocki before curling an unstoppable left-foot effort wide of the stretching Joe Hart to give Aberdeen a 50th-minute lead with their first shot on target at Pittodrie.
Celtic, in urgent need of a back-up frontman for Kyogo Furuhashi, were linked with the 24-year-old international throughout the January transfer window, as CQN reported in early December.
Any proposed move for the player, who cost around £600,000 from MTK Budapest in July 2022, did not materialise, of course, and the champions filled the gap with a short-term loan deal for Norwich City’s Adam Idah.
HELPLESS…Joe Hart dives in vain as Bojan Miovski’s drive puts the Dons ahead at Pittodrie.
The criticism of the club’s apparent reluctance to pay for Miovski gathered pace with his strike against the Parkhead side which was nullified by £3million new Bhoy Nicolas Kuhn in a stalemate that cost the Hoops two precious Premiership points.
Former Scotland international midfielder Michael Stewart joined the ranks of those mystified at Brendan Rodgers’ team’s failure to land a player who, according to the BBC pundit “would walk into Celtic’s squad and be a great addition as an option for them.”
The one-time Hibs and Hearts star, speaking to The Scottish Football Podcast, said: “You are telling me Celtic couldn’t have gone and spent £5 million. Aberdeen would have found it incredibly difficult to say no to £5 million.
“Yet they haven’t. For what reason, I don’t know.”
The figure of £5million is pure guesswork from Stewart. Any exact fee placed on the head of Miovski would have been outwith the scope of his knowledge unless he is privy to information from the inner sanctums at Pittodrie and Parkhead. An unlikely scenario.
NOT THIS TIME…Bojan Miovski knocks the ball past the grounded Joe Hart, but is offside on this occasion. Stephen Welsh and Matt O’Riley breathe a sigh of relief.
Elsewhere, you will find other sources pushing the asking price for the 20 times-capped attacker into the “£9million or £10million bracket”.
The Dons hierarchy may have been tempted to allow their prize asset to move to England, most probably the Championship, for a a more reasonable figure, but you can be sure the Celtic Factor would have kicked in if the Hoops had made an enquiry.
The price would have gone up for obvious reasons. One being the threat of a former player coming back regularly to punish them with opposition you are likely to face at least four times a season.
It’s not that unusual and has been the situation for as long as football became a business and not a mere sporting past-time to provide entertainment for the masses.
Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld, the most irrepressible of Jock Stein’s all-conquering squad, loved wheeling and dealing in the transfer market in his days as a manager, most notably Partick Thistle and Hibs.
THE EQUALISER…new Bhoy Nicolas Kuhn nets his first goal for Celtic with a shot that takes a nick off the challenging Nicky Devlin.
The midfield mastermind revealed all to good friend and author Alex Gordon when they sat down to write his best-selling autobiography. ‘A Bhoy Called Bertie‘, which was published in 2008.
Speaking of one particular transfer that made him smile, Bertie, then the boss at Easter Road in 1982, recalled: “I was quite pleased with myself the day I managed to persuade Rangers into parting with £220,000 for our centre-half Craig Paterson.
“I have to admit it was a great bit of business when you consider the Ibrox side had offered only £80,000 to start with and I had no difficulty in informing them that a figure like that was just an insult.
“I insisted he was one of the best young players in Britain in that position and they would have to pay the going rate.”
After the usual toing and froing between the clubs, John Greig, then the Rangers gaffer, got around to Bertie’s way of thinking and persuaded his board to pay the full £220,000.
The wily old Celt omitted to inform his former onfield adversary the player had been carrying an injury and the buying club raced the deal through without a medical. That’s a story for another day!
The defender played 83 league games in four years in Govan before moving to Motherwell.
POWERHOUSE…striker Adam Idah gets his first taste of life as a Celtic player after making an appearance as a 57th-minute substitute at Pittodrie.
That’s just one example of the skulduggery that can take place in the market. The transfer world has hardly changed since those days back in the eighties and beforehand. On that occasion, it was Celtic’s city neighbours who were forced to cough up over the odds.
The Parkhead club have shelled out way over the asking price for players in the past and there is always the element of a backfire in such frantic moves.
If there was such interest in Miovski, Celtic could hardly allow themselves to be held to ransom for a player who would essentially be seen as a back-up to Kyogo.