There is a spreadsheet on file at every club with the anticipated sale value of each player on it. This value often has nothing to do with how important the player is to the club, or even how good he is, it is a hard assessment of what the market will pay.
Kristoffer Ajer, for example, could end up at a tier one club next season, but his price tag will be inhibited by only having 12 months left on his Celtic contract. James Forrest is also a talent and has two years remaining on his current deal. James, though, will turn 30 in July. The time Spurs managers travel to Glasgow to watching his passed.
Younger players with plenty on their contracts are not assured money either. Ismaila Soro (22) has three years left on his contract but the spreadsheet at Celtic is unlikely to have a figure as high as we paid for him last year; Ismaila just has not played enough football to merit a reflective increase in value.
Market health is also a factor. There is seemingly endless supply of debt to those tier one clubs, but the game in most of Europe is on its knees. What would we expect from a French club for the likes of Olivier Ntcham, after the collapse of their TV deal?
Which brings us Patryk Klimala. I like Patryk, his willingness to show for the ball and bust a lung to get back and find space was a refreshing change of pace from much of what we watched this season. Various coaches didn’t think he had what it takes for Celtic, so his chances were limited and an exit increasingly likely.
We paid £3.5m for him; I expected to collect around a third of that when he moved on, not the entire sum we got back from New York Red Bulls. That’s nothing, to the £10m Bayer Leverkusen paid for Jeremie Frimpong in January, a player I wanted dropped and replaced. The keeper of Celtic’s spreadsheet has enjoyed updating a column this week.
I wonder if New York or Bayer want a goalkeeper with Champions League and European international experience?