Celtic invincible Patrick Roberts is close to rejoining Middlesbrough on loan from Manchester City, according to Borough boss Neil Warnock.
With Celtic needing some cover at right-wing, the former loan star perhaps would’ve been a sound option. Roberts has been on the lookout for a club this summer after his previous loan spell with Middlesbrough came to an end.
Some in the support were keen for the Hoops to go back in for the Englishman too. Yet, despite that, there have been no reports of any interest coming from Parkhead.
And it looks like any faint hope of getting a deal done for him is set to close for good with Middlesbrough closing in on the City man.
As quoted by Teeside Live, Warnock said: “We only had 18 players today and Patrick Roberts is not quite over the line. There’s just some paperwork to do, and we should have him on board for the next game.
“He just gives us something different. I’ve been asking Tav to play in the hole, but I think he’s happier when he has a line down the side of him. I thought Patrick had good games last season and I thought he had mediocre games.
“Manchester City have made it clear he’s not going anywhere else, so it’s up to me to try and get the best out of him. I had a good chat with him yesterday and he’s really looking forward to it. I think if he can get his head up and be confident..”
No sign of any Celtic interest
There will always be a connection between Roberts and Celtic. Such was the love he got from the supporters during his two-and-a-half years here, you can understand why there’s such an interest in his career these days.
However, any return to Parkhead never looked likely over the course of the summer. Even if he’s so out-of-favour at Manchester City, there was still a lack of genuine interest over the last few months in him.
It’s interesting that Warnock says how City believe he isn’t going anywhere else. That reads as though absolutely nobody else has come calling for Roberts over the summer. Perhaps a sign of his struggles over the last two years.
Granted, had Celtic moved for the Englishman, it would hardly have been a bad decision at face value. We still need to invest in the right-wing spot, with James Forrest currently struggling with a long-term injury. Even Roberts’ presence could’ve helped boost Forrest’s performances or indeed those of Jeremie Frimpong.
But it looks like we can finally kill this one off ahead of deadline day tomorrow. Roberts looks almost certain to depart over the next 24 hours, and all eyes will be on how well he does in the Championship over the next 12 months.
From Celtic’s perspective, we move on and try to bolster our numbers by one or two over the next day.