Middlesbrough boss can't stretch to deal for former Celtic star Patrick Roberts; where will he end up?
With Patrick Roberts’ future continuing to be up in the air, it appears that his only clear suitor won’t be making a move for him.
The former Celtic man is reportedly available on either a loan or a permanent deal this summer. Manchester Evening News’ Simon Bajkowski told Teeside Live last week: “He’s not expected to be part of the first-team squad next season so if another team comes in with a loan or permanent offer then they will be listened to.”
However, it appears that the club he was on loan at last season, Championship outfit Middlesbrough, won’t be making their move any time soon after comments from their manager Neil Warnock.
As quoted by Hartlepool Mail, Warnock said: “I think the problem with signing Patrick is that we’d have to sign two defensive full-backs and I have more priorities.
“I’d like to sign full-backs and I’d like to sign Patrick but I have to sort of juggle what I’ve got, what I can spend, what the chances are and at the moment it’s not a priority to sign a wide player who can play there.”
The door is open for Celtic – all we need to do is step through it
There has been no summer speculation involving any move from Celtic for Roberts. To me, that’s just totally bizarre given the opportunity that sits in front of us here.
Yes, the player will be on certain clubs’ shortlists down south. There will be teams who are considering moving for him even if there have been no reports of it. But Celtic should almost certainly be one of them.
If we move now, it could give us the chance to sign a talent in need of some love to help him shine again and for a nominal fee. With only two years remaining on his contract, City won’t be asking for anything extraordinary. Especially considering he has no chance of breaking into their squad anymore.
Just getting him off the wage-bill would surely be an attractive proposition for the Etihad club. And as things stand, the only side who looked certain to make a move for him – Middlesbrough – have other priorities they have to deal with.
Compare that to Celtic, who reportedly have one of their main priorities this summer jotted down as being a new winger (Sky Sports). Roberts therefore fits the bill, and it would tick so many boxes too.
It’s a move that wouldn’t hurt the bank balance too much, would keep the supporters happy, and would solve a key problem that Neil Lennon has within his squad.
If Roberts goes elsewhere this summer and turns it on, we’ll be absolutely kicking ourselves. The time is right to make a move Celtic – bring Paddy home and let him help us towards the 10!