Celtic have been dealt a potentially knockout blow in their bid to secure a deal to bring Patrick Roberts to Parkhead in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by The Northern Echo, who claim that Sunderland have beaten both Celtic and Wigan Athletic to the signing of the Manchester City winger, with the 24-year-old’s transfer to the Stadium of Light expected to be completed this week.
The report goes on to state that Celtic had made an approach to re-sign the former England youth international, who won three Premiership titles during a two and a half year spell in Glasgow on two loan deals, this month, however, Sunderland’s persistence in pursuing a deal for the forward believed to have paid off with Pep Guardiola’s side.
While it is true that Roberts has not hit anywhere near the level of form he achieved with Celtic since his temporary spell in Glasgow – scoring just two goals over five loan spells at Girona, Norwich City, Middlesbrough, Derby County and ESTAC Troyes – the news that the winger looks set to join a League One side ahead of moving back to Parkhead will undoubtedly leave fans fuming.
Indeed, the £1.35m-rated man highly impressed over his 78 appearances for the Hoops, scoring 18 goals and registering 27 assists in all competitions – being directly involved in a goal every 102 minutes of football played for Celtic.
As such, it would very much appear that the Scottish Premiership is a level of football in which the £10k-per-week forward can thrive, with his addition this winter looking as if it could have provided Ange Postecoglou with yet another impressive wide attacking option in the Greek-Australian manager’s bid to reclaim the league title this season.
However, following the latest reports, it would seem as if Celtic are set to miss out on the signing of the Manchester City winger to a side who are currently playing their football in the third tier of the English game – something that will undoubtedly come as a gutting blow to the 56-year-old Bhoys boss and his team.