Celtic are preparing themselves for the possibility of losing top scorer Odsonne Edouard in the summer if they cannot convince him to sign a new contract at the club.
Football Insider reported that the Hoops are trying to persuade the 22-year-old to commit his long-term future to the club but, with no agreement yet struck, they have acknowledged privately that they may be hard pressed to fend off foreign interest in the striker if they cannot tie him down to a new deal before the summer.
According to Football Insider, the Frenchman is in no rush to sign a new deal, with him currently contracted up to 2022, despite Celtic planning to make him the club’s highest-paid player.
Celtic have already had to contend with interest in Edouard from clubs in Europe’s main leagues, with both Leicester (Daily Record) and Napoli (Daily Mail) being reportedly willing to pay £30m for him, Lyon keeping tabs on him (as per Football Insider) and the Premier League trio of Manchester United, Newcastle and Everton all reportedly showing an interest (according to Daily Record).
The Frenchman has been in flying form for the Hoops of late, with nine goals since the winter break and 25 in 41 matches so far this season. He has 58 goals in 122 appearances for the club since he arrived in 2017, an average of 0.48 per game. That rate isn’t far off the 0.54 per game achieved by fellow countryman Moussa Dembele, who scored 51 times in 94 games for Celtic before his £19.7m move to Lyon in August 2018.
The example of Dembele shows that the Hoops have previous when it comes to other European clubs seizing their prized assets. Just last year, left-back Kieran Tierney became Celtic’s record outgoing transfer following his £25m move to Arsenal, while in previous years Southampton raided the club for Victor Wanyama (£12.5m in 2013) and Virgil van Dijk (£13m in 2015).
Despite selling some distinguished names over the past few years, Celtic have still managed to string together eight successive Premiership titles and are on course for a ninth in a row this year. Edouard stepped up to fill the void left by Dembele while the potential impact of Tierney’s departure has been lessened by Greg Taylor slotting in at left-back and earning rave reviews.
History suggests that Celtic could be able to absorb the blow of Edouard leaving if he is tempted away in the summer, but it must be noted that he was already at the club when Dembele left, so the Hoops would be wise to ensure that they have a striker capable of filling the 22-year-old’s boots if he flies the coop this summer.
Celtic fans, do you think the club could afford to sell Edouard if a high offer comes in given that they haven’t been affected by the likes of Dembele and Tierney leaving? Join in the discussion by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience