CELTIC have been told how much it will cost them if they want to make Mohamed Elyounoussi’s stay permanent.
The Norwegian international left-sided attacker agreed a season-long loan from Southampton in the summer.
Elyounoussi eased into Neil Lennon’s first-team plans before scoring his first goal in the Europa League Group E encounter against Cluj at Parkhead on October 3 and hit a good run of form with seven goals in 13 appearances, including a double in a Man-of-the-Match performance in the 5-2 Betfred League Cup semi-final against Hibs.
That sparked calls for the Hoops to snap up the raider who had reportedly cost the south coast club £16million when arrived from Basel in the summer of 2018.
It looked as though Elyounoussi would be priced out of Celtic’s range, but it has been revealed the fee was £12million plus add-ons and the Swiss outfit are unlikely to realise the higher sum unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the Morocco-born star’s fortunes in the English top flight.
HEADS I WIN…Mohamed Elyounoussi opens the scoring in the 5-2 League Cup semi-final win over Hibs in November. Odsonne Edouard and Callum McGregor get a good close-up view of their team-mate’s finishing skills.
That looks unlikely as boss Ralph Hasenhuttl sanctioned his loan and Saints are keen to try and cut their losses. That could mean them accepting something in the region of £9million for the player.
The Hoops hierarchy will also be interested to learn Elyounoussi is now earning anything in the region of the previously-quoted £85,000-per-week at St Mary’s – and his basic is on a level with some of the title king’s top-paid stars.
Celtic’s record fee is the £9million they paid to Paris Saint-Germain for striker Odsonne Edouard to make his stay in Glasgow permanent in July 2018 after his initial impressive temporary agreement.
Elyounoussi had a frustrating end to his first spell at Parkhead when he suffered a foot injury on international duty. He looked off the pace during the 1-0 Betfred League Cup Final success over Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side on December 8 and was removed from the action at half-time. He hasn’t featured since.
Meanwhile, Cruzerio chairman Saulo Froes has warned the Scots not to deal with Fabricio Bruno’s agent Fabio Mello after accusing him of being “wholly unethical”.
HE’S BEHIND YOU…James Tavernier watches Mohamed Elyounoussi race away from him in the League Cup Final last month.
Neil Lennon has been linked with the 24-year-old Brazilian centre-half who is attempting to quit the club for free after accusing them of failing to pay him.
He took Cruzeiro to the regional court in a bid to rip up his contract and lost, although his lawyers are considering an appeal.
Froes, supremo at the newly-relegated Belo Horizonte outfit, said in a report in the Daily Record: “The player’s agent is wholly unethical. I would urge all clubs around the world to have nothing to do with him.
“He took advantage of this club in the past, but my warning for him is that he’s now dealing with serious people at this club who are not there to play.
“There will be respect to the player on our part, but it has to be reciprocal. This agent gave us no respect and we won’t deal with people like that.”
The Brazilians are refusing to put a price on the player.