CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers is facing a Champions League sweat over Paddy Roberts.
The Hoops are keen for the Manchester City winger to return to Parkhead and at least get a place in the squad for Wednesday’s Champions League first leg play-off against Astana.
The deadline for an additional player for both games is tomorrow with the Irishman awaiting a decision from his parent club.
Roberts doesn’t appear to be part of Pep Guardiola’s plans for this campaign and they want to loan him back out again after his successful 18-month learning curve in Glasgow.
Celtic’s preference is to buy the player and in doing so smash the club’s transfer record but while City are open to this the clubs haven’t been able to agree the details on a sell on clause.
However, the Etihad outfit may prefer for him to move to another Premier League side or a top European club rather than agree another loan spell at Celtic so it appears to be moving towards the buying alternative.
Southampton are ready to offer the 20-year-old Hoops fans’ favourite that loan option, but the player wants to return to Glasgow.
He has informed City of his preferred destination, but the club have not yet decided on whether they will sanction that move and boss Rodgers needs an answer today if Roberts is to have any chance of helping the bid for the group stages among Europe’s elite.
The champions’ gaffer is also looking at defensive options with Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko out until next month.
South African international centre-half Rivaldo Coetzee is among the list of targets, with Ajax Cape Town looking for £800,000 to sell the 20-year-old, who has made 22 appearances for his country.
Nir Bitton retains the manager’ confidence despite the late penalty claim scare at Firhill on Friday night.
Episode 8 of ‘A Celtic State of Mind’ finds Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham discussing a variety of topical subjects concerning Celtic Football Club, including:
* The quest for 7-in-a-row begins;
* Jozo Šimunović: Made of Stone;
* The Champions League – Astana preview;
* James Forrest: The enigma;
* Nir Bitton – Case for the defence.
This week’s big interview is with legendary Scottish football broadcaster, Archie Macpherson, who speaks about Jock Stein, Neilly Mochan, Charlie Tully and John McPhail, as we approach the 60th anniversary of the 7-1 game.
50,000 Celtic fans can’t be wrong…
Connect with A Celtic State of Mind @PaulDykes and @CQNMagazine and listen to the new podcast at the following link: