When Filip Benkovic returned to Leicester last summer there was clear need for a new defensive recruit at Celtic.
One of the men they considered bringing in as a replacement was Phil Jagielka. Following his release from Everton, the Bhoys were looking to land the 40-cap Englishman on a free transfer last summer.
Though, they ultimately decided against bringing the defender to Parkhead after initially tracking him all the way back in January 2019.
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For a host of reasons, they were right to do so as Peter Lawwell opted to splash his cash on transfer fees, rather than player wages.
Christopher Jullien was one of their acquisitions. The Frenchman arrived on a £7m deal and since walking through the doors has become an imperative figure, scoring seven times and forming a major part of Neil Lennon’s side.
Without the colossal 27-year-old, they’d be worse off but we shall never know how they’d have fared with Jagielka at the back.
Though, he would hardly have been a player for the future. At the age of 37, he has featured just four times all season in the league – clearly he does not have the legs to perform week in, week out.
However, what makes their decision to swerve the former England international are his wages. At Sheffield United, the veteran is on a colossal £50k per week.
Had he signed on similar terms, it would have blown Celtic’s wage bill out the water.
It’s very rare that too many players earn over £30k in Scottish football, let alone £50,000. After all, their highest earner a few years ago was Scott Sinclair on £35k.
For an attacker and their star man, that sounds just about warranted – not for a defender who may not have started on a regular basis.
In this instance, Lawwell and his recruitment network got this one right. They may have been tracking Jagielka for a while but his inability to play too many matches, coupled with his hefty salary would have been a burden on the club.
Celtic have been absolutely fine without him.