Football Insider are reporting every Celtic fan’s worst nightmare with Odsonne Edouard drawing attention from Lyon.
Edouard has been a key player for Celtic, Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon since he signed – initially on loan, then permanently – from Paris Saint Germain last summer. The talented 21-year-old has five goals and four assists already in just nine appearances this season, including the crucial opening goal in the key fixture against Rangers before the international break.
Celtic have already lost a prised asset to Lyon with previous French sensation Moussa Dembele moving for £19.7m last summer. Edouard himself was linked with a move in the summer with rumours that he had agreed a deal to join Monaco.
Edouard would have already been on the radar for French clubs, given his nationality, but his form this week has likely sparked further interest – four goals in two games for France’s U21 side.
Having sold Kieran Tierney for £25m, Celtic have a healthy bank balance but will the board see that sale as covering the losses from failing to qualify for the Champions League?
One thing that Lyon have over Celtic is reaching the group stages. UEFA regulations now allow players that have played in the Champions League qualifiers to sign for teams that are still in the competition, meaning Lyon could still use this as a carrot to dangle in front of Edouard in January.
Edouard has shown he can perform at the highest level and at 21 he will want to showcase his talents on Europe’s biggest stage. Eight goals in twenty three games for Celtic in European competition shows just how potent he can be.
A move to Lyon could also be seen as an attractive proposition for Edouard given that it would be a return to his home country. Selection for a place in the senior national team alongside his former Parkhead team-mate Dembele would also be more likely if they were scoring goals together in the same domestic side.
The lure of the Champions League is a powerful motive, not only for the calibre of players in the competition but the riches that it brings to those involved. Can Celtic persuade Edouard to stay in Paradise, or is he already lost?