Alberth Elis close to signing for Boavista after previous Celtic comments

By David Walton

September 14, 2020

Boavista president Vitor Murta has confirmed that his club is close to completing the signing of Celtic-linked Alberth Elis from Houston Dynamo.

Elis has started the season on fire for Houston in the MLS. The right-winger has scored four goals and bagged three assists in six appearances for Dynamo so far this term (Transfermarkt). The Honduran international has been the club’s biggest goal threat this season.

The Daily Record earlier this summer that Celtic have been long-term admirers of the winger. The player himself, meanwhile, has said in the past that he always asks former Celt and Honduras team-mate Emilio Izaguirre about the Hoops’ interest. As quoted by the Record, Elis said: “When I first played for Honduras I asked Emilio to recommend me to Celtic. In fact, I always ask him that!”

Alberth Elis has started the MLS season in good form (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

But it looks as though Boavista are about to swoop in if Murta’s comments are anything to go by.

As quoted by AS, the Portuguese club president said: “We are negotiating, but he has not signed a contract. Elis is a great player who interests us, but we are negotiating. We want it for now, for for January.

“Houston is not putting obstacles in, they are negotiating with us. There is a little bit left (in the talks), but I think we are going to close it.

“Alberth Elis is known as ‘La Panterita’, and Boavista as ‘Las Panteras’. A perfect marriage!”

No signs of movement from Parkhead as winger gap remains vacant

On paper, this would be a perfect deal for Celtic. Elis has proven himself over the course of the last three years in the USA. It’s time for him to prove himself in Europe, and he has a hunger to do just that.

Overall, Elis has an incredible 63 direct goal contributions in 101 appearances for Houston (Transfermarkt). It’s a fantastic return from a player who has been a consistent performer and is only 24 years of age.

The winger is also into the final year of his contract in Houston, meaning the MLS outfit would surely be willing to talk to the Hoops. Yet so far, there’s no sign that Celtic are any closer to doing a deal.

Reported Celtic target Alberth Elis (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

It’s a tad frustrating to see talents such as Elis move so freely elsewhere. It seems like a deal Celtic should be all over, especially considering we’re in massive need of genuine competition for James Forrest.

Elis is the type of player who could come in and make it a real challenge for Forrest to keep his place. That has to be the plan when we make another signing for the position, as opposed to another Marian Shved-type deal.

It remains to be seen if we make a late charge and try to bulldoze ourselves into the conversation. But all the signs, for now, point to Elis making the move to Portugal.

In other news, another Celtic-linked player has officially handed in a transfer request.