Despite having completed seven major deals so far this summer, Ange Postecoglou has hinted that there could well be further arrivals in Glasgow before the September 1st deadline, with the 56-year-old looking to strengthen a squad which reclaimed the league title last term.
The name dominating the headlines at present is that of Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley, with reports suggesting that the Old Firm outfit have made an “offer” to the Blues regarding a permanent swoop for the 28-year-old.
The 33-cap England international – who last represented his country in October 2019 – appears set for a departure from Stamford Bridge, having failed to truly establish himself at the west London outfit since his arrival from Everton on a £15m deal in 2018.
With just a year remaining on his current contract, the playmaker is now in search of a new home, having not been handed a shirt number for the new season by manager Thomas Tuchel, duly opening the door for any interested parties to pounce.
While there may be concerns about signing a player who has been hampered by injury throughout his career and has made just 100 appearances in four-and-a-half years with his current club, the former Everton man is still seemingly an asset who has “loads to offer”, according to pundit Noel Whelan.
Equally, a failed stint with the Blues does not necessarily mean that the 6 foot 2 menace is a busted flush, with the case of Hoops legend Chris Sutton proving that a bad spell at Chelsea can be quickly forgotten about north of the border.
The now-retired striker was signed for a then-hefty £10m fee by the Premier League side in the summer of 1999 after a profitable stint at Blackburn Rovers, although he ultimately scored just one league goal over the next 12 months in what was a disappointing stint in the English capital.
Unperturbed by that failed spell, then-Celtic boss Martin O’Neill moved to bring the Englishman to Parkhead in a sizeable £6m deal, with that decision ultimately proving to be a masterstroke as the 6 foot 3 marksman went on to thrive in the green and white jersey.
The imposing forward went on to score 63 league goals for the club and win three league titles before his departure for Birmingham City in January 2006, notably forming an immense attacking partnership with Swedish genius Henrik Larsson.
Much like with Sutton’s arrival at Celtic, it would require another notable gamble if the club were to move for Barkley in the coming weeks. However, as the former Blackburn marksman proved two decades ago, one bad spell doesn’t necessarily make for a bad player.
Of course, Barkley’s dismal stint at Cobham has been far more tortuous than that of his compatriot, but having once been likened to Three Lions great Wayne Rooney, there is clearly a raw natural talent in him which is just waiting to be unleashed.
As O’Neill did all those years ago, Postecoglou must simply take the leap of faith and snap up the £96k-per-week ace.