Neil Lennon is reportedly close to securing Jordon Ibe to Celtic on a loan deal.
According to the Daily Express, the Hoops aren’t prepared to pay the asking price to secure Ibe to Parkhead permanently. However, despite that, Celtic are still interested in securing a loan deal.
Ibe hasn’t played for Bournemouth this season, but he was signed by the Cherries for £14million from Liverpool back in 2016. And, according to the Express, Eddie Howe’s side want an eye-watering £20m in any permanent deal.
As you would expect, that’s not something Celtic are going to pay for anyone.
However, there could be an interesting twist in the tale as both Fiorentina and Napoli are also apparently interested in Ibe. Galatasaray have also been mentioned in the Express’ report.
Ibe has made 88 appearances for Bournemouth overall. He’s also had spells with Liverpool, Derby County, Birmingham City, and Wycombe respectively. On Merseyside, Ibe managed a fine 55 outings for the now-European champions.
Difficult to believe that Jordan Ibe to Celtic is possible
What makes this report difficult to believe is the clubs that are also apparently chasing his signature. Napoli and Galatasaray are both set for Champions League football yet again this season. That’s a carrot Celtic don’t have.
It would be a fine deal to get done if Celtic could manage it. The fact the Express feel that we’re closing in on it is hopefully a positive sign.
But that could all change if any of the reportedly interested sides decide to meet Bournemouth’s valuation for Ibe. If that were to happen, a loan deal would be off the table. Celtic would have to look at other targets once again.
It’s clear that Ibe needs games, however. Moving him up to Scotland would hopefully be an attractive proposition for Bournemouth. But given his transfer value, it’s still difficult to believe this move would be possible.
Ibe’s natural position is as a right-winger. However, with James Forrest currently slaying all before him in that position, Ibe would have a huge fight on his hands.
Even down the other flank, Mikey Johnston has been making a positive impression this summer. Would pushing him out of the side be a positive in the long-term?
The Express may feel this one is close, but we have our big doubts over it.