The Luca Connell deal to Celtic from Bolton Wanderers looks set to be finalised soon.
According to the Daily Express, the Hoops are looking to tie him up after Bolton’s administrators hand over preferred bidder status. The deal to take Connell to Parkhead would only see Celtic pay a small training fee.
Connell was given his first ever call-up to Mick McCarthy’s Republic of Ireland squad last month. He’s yet to make his senior debut, but it’s clear the Irish think highly of him.
There doesn’t seem to be a specific date for this as of yet. But the deal sounds as though it’s extremely close to being finalised.
So what does Luca Connell deal mean for Jose Cifuentes?
So Connell signing would be good news for the club. Many would generally accept that given he’s a highly-rated youngster who was reportedly attracting Premier League interest (Scottish Sun). But could another potential deal be affected by it?
Connell is a natural defensive-midfielder. But fellow midfield target Jose Cifuentes plays in the exact same position too. Neil Lennon was also linked with a move for the Ecuador under-20 star yesterday (Scottish Sun).
According to the Scottish Sun, Lennon had the midfielder on his radar. But if we sign Connell, then would Cifuentes really be worth the £2.5million fee?
It all depends where Celtic seeing Connell making an impact next season. He only has 12 senior games under his belt does Connell. If he was to come to Parkhead, you could easily see the Hoops sending him down to the under-20s.
Plenty of competition ahead of both men
After all, Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, Olivier Ntcham, and Eboue Kouassi are all likely ahead of him. Cifuentes, however, has managed to play over 60 games with CD America in Ecuador. He has more experience than Connell, but it would be a totally new culture to him in Scotland as opposed to his homeland.
It’s hard to say that there’s no place for Cifuentes if Connell departs. But it has to be followed by the departures of players such as Youssouf Mulumbu or Kouassi in order to ease the wage bill.
You have to question whether there’s an urgent need for both too. And whether there’s enough hunger from Celtic to spend around £2.5m on Cifuentes should they nab Connell is questionable.
The Irishman, of course, has yet to sign up. But if he does, which seems likely, you have to wonder where Cifuentes would fit in.