After a less than convincing start to the season, Celtic are firmly at the top of the pile in Scotland and are being heavily backed to claim yet another league title. So, no problems, right? Well, no! Although things on the pitch are positive, the January transfer window is set to throw up a series of questions, to which the answers will have to be spot on if Ronny Deila’s side are to maintain their spot and make an impact in the Europa League.
So what are the issues? And what can be done? Read on to find out…
Although Deila has suggested that Van Dijk will be staying, it’s not looking that great for Celtic right now. The Dutchman has been a real star since his move to Scotland last year, and many are suggesting that he’s now outgrown football north of the border, with Arsenal interested. Although the Gunners may opt against gambling on a relatively unproven star, other teams such as Sunderland and Southampton are also in the running, which could lead to a few January bids.
Should Celtic hold onto their man? Or is cashing in while his value is at a real high the way to go?
Champions League elimination and the harsh reality that money in Scottish football is not plentiful means that the Bhoys will be shopping on a budget. Their war chest will be larger than domestic rivals, but shopping abroad will lure in rival interest, much of which will be financially superior.
Long-term target Mikkel Diskerud is available for free after being released by Rosenborg, while there are a few unattached stars – Lassana Diarra – and loanees on the market, too.
His form may have dipped in recent times, but Guidetti has been a hit since his loan move to Celtic from Manchester City. The Swede appears to have put his injury woes behind him, and a tally of 10 goals in 16 outings suggests that he is more than cut out for Scottish football. Although the 22-year-old is due to be a free agent in six months’ time, a £3m bid will be enough to tie him down permanently in January, and keep him away from a growing list of suitors. Tough call.
Reports in recent times suggest that Dundee’s Nadir Ciftci is a Celtic target. The 22-year-old has been in decent form for his current side this term, notching eight league goals to keep The Terrors within toughing distance of the Hoops at the top of the table. A move for Cifcti may not be cheap, but landing the forward will holster Deila’s armoury and weaken a direct rival in one go.
A tough draw sees Celtic line up against Inter Milan in the last 32 of the Europa League. Although the Italians are a box office name, their recent decline means that Roberto Mancini’s side are beatable, which will be a boost for the Glasgow giants. Snapping up a few players who are not cup tied will be desirable for Deila, which could alter the transfer policy next month.