Josh King’s wage is the obvious stumbling block in any deal for Celtic to sign him this summer, that much is clear.
The Scottish Sun reported last night that Eddie Howe was eyeing him up as a potential Odsonne Edouard replacement. Howe has yet to actually be confirmed as the Celtic manager of course. That led to some supporters questioning the prospect of King to Celtic, whilst others appeared excited by the prospect.
The Norwegian international is currently plying his trade with Everton on a short-term deal. Despite making eight appearances and failing to score, this still appears an optimistic move to get done.
And given his reported wage demands back in January, it looks even more unlikely King would be up for a rebirth in Scotland. The Sun on Sunday [print edition, 17/01, page 59] reported several months ago that King was looking for as much as £120k-per-week.
The Sun reported last night that he’s currently on around £45k-per-week at Goodison Park instead. This came after clubs initially appeared to cool their interest due to his demands.
Whilst King clearly had to lower his expectations, it doesn’t bode well for a potential Celtic offer. Not when he’s bound to have Premier League interest lining up for his services once again.
Josh King’s wage demands a key stumbling block
It’s no secret that Scottish football isn’t exactly cash-rich. Celtic still can’t even operate in the same hemisphere with Premier League clubs either given the finances the EPL receives from TV sponsorship.
Now it could be the case that reports of King’s January demands are actually wide of the mark. But even still, he could easily double or perhaps even triple what he would get at Parkhead if he stays where he is.
We would need the player to make a lot of financial sacrifices just to link up with Howe. Again, it’s important to stress that his ex-Bournemouth boss hasn’t even been confirmed by Celtic as things stand.
But if the report on King’s wage demands is true, we can forget it. He’s highly unlikely to drop down to the wage bracket Celtic could afford. Especially when his next contract will likely be one of his last at a top-level. At 29, this is a huge next move for him and he’ll undoubtedly be wanting to ensure long-term financial comfortability.
Celtic undoubtedly need a replacement for Edouard this summer. Keeping him is far too optimistic given his situation. And that will indeed mean splashing out.
But given the wage bracket King is operating at and has reportedly looked for in the past, it makes this one feel all the more unlikely. First thing’s first, of course, we need a new manager in!