Kosovo defender Amir Rrahmani’s agent has officially confirmed that he turned down an offer from Celtic in the summer.
The centre-back, now plying his trade with Hellas Verona, apparently had rival interest from Celtic. But Verona sealed a €2.1m deal for his services (Football Italia).
Celtic had serious centre-back concerns in the summer. Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic had both departed. With Christopher Jullien arriving in late June, Rrahamani’s Celtic interest came very early in the window.
However, after a stand-out season for Dinamo Zagreb, he chose to move to Italy. Speaking to Calcio Hellas, his agent Adrian Aliaj told of why his client chose Verona over Parkhead.
“He had played in the Europa League and came from an already good level. He is playing for the first time in Serie A and is doing very well. I am very happy as his agent, but so is the company and the coach.
“I have known Amir for 4-5 years and I’m sure the Serie A for him is really the right championship. He is very happy because he plays in a difficult championship that will make him grow a lot. He feels like he is at home, he has set himself very quickly. We hope to continue like this.
“Juric (Verona manager) was also important. In the summer there were Standard Liege and Celtic, but seeing that he was on the bench of Hellas we decided with Amir to make this choice.”
Kosovo defender Rrahmani not a big concern for Celtic
Rrahmani has made a positive start to life in Italy. Eight appearances so far for the internationalist, being part of just narrow defeats to the likes of AC Milan and Juventus respectively.
In addition to that, Rrahmani has been in scintillating form for his country. He’s played in all six of Kosovo’s European qualification matches, helping them secure three wins in the process. They currently sit third and just one point behind the Czech Republic.
So there are plenty of reasons to be positive for Rrahmani. Whether he was one that got away for us, however, is still debatable.
After all, Celtic bolstered their ranks perfectly with the signing of Jullien. The Frenchman has been a sensational addition to our back-line, and looks like an upgrade on Boyata.
Jullien’s only poor performance came in the 2-0 defeat at Livingston almost two weeks ago. He struggled massively in West Lothian, but so did the rest of the squad.
He hasn’t shown anything to prove that he won’t be as good a signing as Rrahmani may have been. Celtic will hardly be losing sleep over failing to nab the Kosovo man. Things worked out just fine in any case.