As the saga surrounding Charlton youngster Alfie Doughty continues, it appears the Celtic target’s agent has irked Addicks boss Lee Bowyer.
Doughty will not be signing a new contract with the League One club. That now appears to be all but confirmed. However, the situation regarding his long-term future appears to be anything but almost over.
Stoke City have reportedly been the first to move with an offer for the left-sided starlet (Stoke Sentinel). Celtic, meanwhile, are said to still be interested in making a move for the player but have yet to do so (Sky Sports).
And it appears that Bowyer isn’t happy with his agent’s train of thought. Speaking to London News Online, he appeared to have a bit of a sly pop at him for the decision made.
“If Alfie does leave then it will have to be the right thing for the football club. No one player is bigger than the football club – and Alfie is no different.
“Alfie’s agent has told us he won’t sign a new deal and I’m disappointed with that. This time last year his agent was saying we should leave him on loan in non-league [at Bromley] instead of calling him back. We’ve given him the opportunity and we want him to sign a new contract. But that’s his decision, that’s his choice – we understand that.
“We will make sure that it is the right deal for the club if he does go. We can’t make anyone sign. But we have to be strong. There are certain conversations going on that are probably a bit harsh, but that’s the way negotiations go.”
Charlton stay for Doughty could be used as a sweetener for Celtic
This really depends on how Neil Lennon views Doughty’s current importance to Celtic’s first-team squad. However, it could be worth sending Doughty back to Charlton for the rest of the season to sweeten any deal.
Given his hamstring injury, it would remain to be seen how Charlton would react to that. There’s no guarantee the Englishman will be able to play a substantial period of the second half of the campaign.
But if we’re in competition with other clubs for his signature, this could be a way to steal a march. With Charlton likely looking to cash in on him now, this could be a decent offer for them. It would give them the money they want for Doughty whilst allowing him to stay there for the next several months and potentially still make an impact on their season.
Then again, Celtic may not want to go down that route. It all depends on how ready Doughty is to be considered for Celtic’s first team. Considering only last season he was on loan at Bromley however, it seems like he would be one for the future.
Consistent game-time will be Doughty’s main priority when he recovers from injury. He has to pick a place where that will become reality for him. So, if Celtic don’t view him as one for the present, a loan move should be guaranteed.
In any case, we’ll keep an eye on this one as we all await a decision.