Celtic need a Champions League transfer tool up if they’re to match Ange Postecoglou’s big ambitions – Chris Sutton – Chris Sutton

We don’t stop. We all know Ange Postecoglou’s mantra by now and his players clearly bought it in to it last season.

Now it’s the board’s turn.

By the looks of it Celtic’s money men are getting ready to back the manager and it’s the least he deserves after pulling off a remarkable victory in the Premiership last season.

You won’t be able to convince me the Parkhead board were banking on getting Champions League football when the last campaign kicked off.

It was a complete rebuilding mission and it’s been successful so far.

So far, being the phrase.

Celtic cannot afford to stop now. There are positive noises coming from all parties regarding tying down Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota on permanent deals.

I know they will not be seen as new players as such but they’ll still come out of this summer’s budget.

Celtic would need to stump up the guts of £13m for the pair and that’s no small change in Scottish football terms.

But it would be money well spent. The pair of them are no longer gambling. We all know what they can do and their importance to the team.

It’s also clear they will both potentially be worth far more than £13m before long.

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They would be an investment.

It can’t stop with those two and Celtic still need to tool up for the Champions League, unless they want to just turn up and make up the numbers.

Celtic’s model is obvious. They look for bargains and sell for a profit. It doesn’t look like they’ll be cashing in on any of their main men this season so this might be one of those summers when they spent more than they rake in.

That’s not always the case. Don’t forget, Postecoglou’s net spend was actually nearly £10m less than the club made from the sales of Odsonne Edouard, Kris Ajer and Ryan Christie.

There might not be any big money departures in the next few weeks but that doesn’t mean the cash won’t come in down the line.

I’m mentioned Carter-Vickers and Jota, but you look at the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Leil Abada, Matt O’Riley, Reo Hatate and Josip Juranovic – they have all increased in value already and when the time comes they will make the club some money.

Now is not the time though. This is an important window for Postecoglou. He managed to work a minor miracle in recruiting at breakneck pace last summer and some of it was by the seat of the pants.

It’s hard to imagine Celtic being as successful as they were if they’d not landed Carter-Vickers in the final minutes of the transfer window.

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Postecoglou’s eye for a player should earn him the trust of the board to add the quality he’ll feel he needs to make a proper fist of the Champions League.

I laughed off the notion of going there and parking the bus. He said he doesn’t own a bus, and I just admit, I like that stuff.

But there has to be a hint of realism as well. Brendan Rodgers had lofty ideas playing at that level and his team got slaughtered.

There can’t be any more five, six or seven goal defeats if Celtic are going to be a credible force on their return to the big stage.

It’ll come down to getting the balance right – as well as the recruitment.

Christopher Jullien during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown

I’ve seen some fans being a bit snooty about talk of loan deals, with the usual links to Man City players.

It’s inevitable with Mark Lawwell coming in and his links to the City Football Group.

But I wouldn’t scoff too much. Ideally you want to sign players on permanent contracts but I don’t actually mind loan moves – if they are the right ones.

Celtic have had a fair few that have paid off over the years, as well as a few bum deals.

The likes of Patrick Roberts, Jason Denayer, the two players last season, all enhanced the team.

It’s vital to bring in loans who are either hungry to make an impact to get their parent club take notice – or even better persuade Celtic to turn the temporary deals in to long term stays.

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Knowing the work Postecoglou puts in to background checks, he’ll know if a potential loanee is just looking to bid their time somewhere or make a real impression.

I would expect Celtic to make three or four signings this summer and then perhaps borrow a couple of they chance arrives.

There’s still some positions to fill, including center back – even if Carter-Vickers gets done as it looks like Christopher Jullien will be going.

The Frenchman clearly isn’t Postecoglou’s cup of tea given the fact he’s been nowhere near the side despite being fit from the turn of the year.

Jullien has been a decent player for Celtic but the manger sees him in training and has made up his mind.

It might be he doesn’t think he is cut out for the kind of center half role he likes, where they can be a bit exposed man for man at times, and if that’s the case then it might be best for all involved for a parting of the ways.

Celtic spent £7m on Jullien and won’t get that money back with him being out for 18 months.

But that shouldn’t put a dent in Postecoglou’s budget as this is the time to invest in the future under the Aussie.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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