Following five significant arrivals earlier this month in the form of Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi, Johnny Kenny and Matt O’Riley, it was clear in advance of the day that Celtic’s business would concentrate on moving players out on loan for “opportunities ”, as manager Ange Postecoglou had spoken about last week.
The surprising development has come in Aberdeen’s late loan move for Adam Montgomery. The 19-year-old left-side performer was previously linked with a temporary switch to Kilmarnock. It now appears the Championship club were not able to free up a place in the squad to sign this up, resulting in Stephen Glass stepping in. Montgomery, who enjoyed considerable senior exposure early in the season, has become an Aberdeen target as suggestions his Celtic team-mate Mikey Johnston could go on loan to Pittodrie has gone quiet.
The one piece of activity involving Celtic concluded earlier in the day was the anticipated loan deal taking Osaze Urhoghide to KV Oostende for the rest of the season. The 21-year-old right-back, who only joined under freedom of contract from Sheffield Wednesday in the summer, had interest from a number of clubs before heading to Belgium. And with reports that his deal of him contacts an option to buy, it could be that Urhoghide stay in Glasgow, which yielded only one appearance, ends up a brief one.
Postecoglou had intimated that deadline day would most likely not be the end point for possible outgoing moves for players on the far fringes of the club, with the window closing at different stages across a number of European countries. It will remain open in Switzerland until February 15 but that may have no impact on the reported interest in FC Basel of their former striker Albian Ajeti, who bagged 37 league goals between 2017 and 2019. The 24-year-old has failed to make a similar impact in Glasgow but his wages and Celtic’s desire to obtain a fee that would go a fair way to offsetting the £4.5million they paid West Ham for the forward in the summer of 2020 is now thought to have ended Basel’s inquiries over Ajeti.
The transfer window will remain open in Sweden until March. That could have implications for the Celtic status of Greek goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas, who has been linked with a move to IFK Gothenborg as he looks for a fresh start following a miserable year-and-a-half in Scotland since his £5m move from AEK Athens. However, the desire for Celtic to recover around £2m could place such a move in the balance over the coming weeks.
Permanent moves away from Boli Bolingoli and Ismali Soro would surely be welcomed both by Celtic and the out-of-favor players themselves, even if the club’s midfield issues had returned Soro to the bench for recent games, the Ivorian even given the final minutes in the win away to Hearts last Wednesday. The 23-year-old and Bolingoli have previously been linked with moves to the MLS, and domains in which January 31 is not the transfer deadline could come into play for deals involving these players.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.