Celtic boss Neil Lennon is certainly trying to conduct his business early with forward Albian Ajeti and goalkeeper Vasilas Barkas almost through the door and he could complete a trifecta of exciting signings by landing a winger.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the Scottish champions are ‘knocking on the door’ for Atletico Madrid starlet Rodrigo Riquelme but as are La Liga rivals Real Betis.
It’s claimed that the 20-year-old would like regular game time whilst Diego Simeone wants to extend the wide man’s contract with it set to expire.
Whilst a loan move could suit all parties here, it remains to be seen if he’ll be allowed to leave temporarily or if he’ll push through a permanent exit.
Celtic are of course targeting that tenth title in a row and what better way to kickstart those plans than signing one of the most promising talents in Europe.
The Hoops have lacked some sort of exuberance and excitement on the wing since they failed to keep hold of loan star Patrick Roberts, who provided 18 goals and 26 assists across two seasons at Parkhead.
Riquelme could certainly bring some of that flair to Scotland – it’s not the first time either as he impressed with three assists against Rangers in the UEFA Youth League last season.
The Madrid-born sensation has been compared to Antoine Griezmann due to his ability to play on the right or as a second-striker. He also cites the Barcelona superstar as inspiration, too.
Former Atletico academy director Miguel Angel Ruiz once labelled Riquelme as in a “different world” and claimed that his “change of pace is brutal”.
He also believes the young winger has the “ability to overpower an opponent in one-on-one situations.”
Celtic should absolutely take a punt on the Spaniard even if it’s merely for a season on loan, he’d bring an added edge to Lennon’s wide options. He’s valued at just £2m by Transfermarkt.
AND in other news, Hammond must steer clear of Ajeti amid transfer interest in 6 foot 3 colossus…