Celtic January target Andraz Sporar has officially signed for Sporting Lisbon this afternoon – finally putting an end to the saga.
The former Slovan Bratislava striker has moved to the Portuguese outfit, who have announced that they’ve immediately slapped a €60million release clause in his five-year contract.
Portuguese outlet A Bola have reported that Lisbon managed to sign the striker for €6m, meaning that his release clause is now 10 times what they splashed out on him.
Celtic were first linked with Sporar last month, with Neil Lennon stating initially that there was “nothing in” the speculation (Scottish Sun). He then changed his mind days later and admitted interest. (FourFourTwo). Several days afterward it was reported that talks had indeed opened up between Celtic and Bratislava (BBC).
From there on it seemed to stall for weeks, but that was until Celtic completed the signing of £3.5m Patryk Klimala (Scottish Sun). From there on in it never looked likely we would then go for Sporar, and it looks like that’s been proven right.
Not the big blow you may have anticipated
If you had told me a couple of weeks ago that Celtic would miss out on Sporar, I would’ve said it was a real blow. But it’s funny how things in change in football in a matter of mere weeks.
Klimala has signed for the club and Leigh Griffiths appears to have started scoring again. What that means is that, combined with Odsonne Edouard, we should be in good nick going forward without the Slovakian.
That’s not to undermine Sporar and his pedigree. He is, after all, the second top goalscorer in the Europa League as things stand (UEFA). He’s also scored 20 goals in 26 appearances this season (Transfermarkt). What he brings to the table is goals, and credit to him.
But it’s not a disaster by any stretch. It’s telling that Celtic weren’t even reported as trying to intervene in any way. You get the sense we’re happy with what we’ve got for now up top, and so we should be.
His signing for Sporting Lisbon will effectively put him out of our reach now for the rest of his career. The fact they’re able to slap such a meaty release clause on him shows the difference in markets. If he’s a success at Lisbon, you can bet his next move will be to an elite club.
So all the best to him, he’s got the move many would’ve expected him to make. But from our perspective? We’re in a good place ourselves.