Italian report claims Celtic remain interested in Omar Colley; dismisses Neil Lennon comments

By David Walton

September 1, 2020

Respected Italian outlet Calciomercato has reported that Celtic remain interested in Sampdoria centre-back Omar Colley, despite Neil Lennon’s comments over the weekend.

When asked by BBC Sportsound on Sunday about repoted interest in Colley (BBC Radio Scotland, 30/08, 14:30), Lennon said the following.

“I can’t confirm it, no. I can deny it. I’m not aware of that at all.”

Celtic boss Neil Lennon (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Calciomercato have acknowledged the comments from the Celtic manager, but still maintain that the club is monitoring Colley’s situation.

The Italian source has also stated that Sampdoria want a fee for Colley to reach double-digits. Yet they say even that may not be enough to persuade the club’s president, Massimo Ferrero, to sell the Gambian defender.

A host of factors make this deal unlikely

We always have to take reports from abroad with a pinch of salt of course, especially when the club is making moves back home that go against the idea of signing Colley.

For example, the Daily Mail has reported that Celtic are closing in on a one-year loan deal for Brighton’s Shane Duffy. With that deal appearing to be imminent, it’s difficult to see why the Hoops would splash out on Colley when Duffy’s arrival would signal that we have enough cover.

Of course there’s an argument to say that Celtic could just be going all out this year to secure the 10. But even taking that into account, it moves us onto the second reason this deal is unlikely – the reported fee.

Reported Celtic target Omar Colley / (Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images)

If Sampdoria want a number that goes into double-digits then that surely rules us out. With no Champions League income it would be totally against Celtic’s signing policy to break the bank for additional cover. Anything over £7million would be a record buy for the club when it comes to defenders.

When you also throw Lennon’s denial of any bid being launched, this is a deal that just doesn’t add up.

When Duffy arrives (fingers crossed), Celtic will have five solid options at the back if you include Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed. Taking Colley’s valuation into consideration, this looks like a transfer that’s slightly above our budget at the moment.

In other news, Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has showered yet more praise on Duffy.