Celtic should go all out to sign Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley, says former frontman Frank McAvennie.
The lowdown: Celtic make first official bid
Recently, the Hoops have been among the clubs most heavily linked with a move for Barkley, who seemingly faces an uncertain future at the Premier League giants.
The 28-year-old England international hasn’t featured in either match-day squad so far this season and spent time on loan at Aston Villa last season before returning to London.
Amidst interest from West Ham, Newcastle, Villa and a return to boyhood club Everton, it was reported over the weekend that the Hoops have jumped to the front of the queue by making the first official loan offer, with the move personally green-lit by Ange Postecoglou.
The latest: ‘That’s what we need’
He said: “I think big clubs like Celtic need big players and Ross Barkley is a big player. He’s a quality player and I think it would be great for Celtic, great for Scottish football if a player like that comes up. It’s not like Aaron Ramsey who came from Juventus and was injured a lot, Barkley is fit.
“I think he enjoys his football. I’m a great believer, if you’re not getting a game, you’ve got to go and play football. Why wouldn’t he come to Celtic? They’re in the Champions League, they’ve started magnificently in the league. It would be great to get him on board.
“I think he can play anywhere. He’s an attacking midfielder, he can sit as well. I think that’s what we need at the moment. There will come a time when we have to defend and that’s when we’re going to need somebody with experience, to sit in there. Any good player coming to Celtic would improve the team.”
The verdict: No brainer
Albeit the Celtic squad is already blessed with a host of impressive midfield options, adding a player of Barkley’s ilk to the Lennoxtown ranks would always offer a welcome boost to the chances of racking up silverware in any campaign.
A vastly experienced operator of 232 English top flight outings, the attacking midfielder has directly contributed to 57 Premier League goals during what has been a prominent career at the elite level to date and would no doubt waste little time in adapting to life in the Scottish Premiership.
Valued at £10.8million and in the final 12 months of a deal at Chelsea (Transfermarkt), agreeing a permanent option at the end of the loan could even prove no issue for the Celtic Park hierarchy, although finding an agreement on a current £100,000 per week salary could prove a difficult hurdle to overcome.
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