Leverkusen director makes Celtic transfer admission in his assessment of club

By Euan Davidson

September 30, 2021

Bayer Leverkusen Sporting Director Simon Rolfes admits that after signing Jeremie Frimpong, he wanted another Celtic man on board.

Rolfes, speaking to Stats Perform’s Sacha Pisani, said he’s been watching Celtic with interest over recent years, and that the Bhoys are a “strong team”.

Bayer Leverkusen were linked with Norwegian defender Kristoffer Ajer over the summer. They even prepared a welcome party for the commanding centre-back [Sun]. Ajer joined Premier League new boys Brentford, instead.

Rolfes, who had 26 Germany caps and represented Bayer for 10 years as a player [Transfermarkt], was full of praise for the Hoops. He also seemingly watched a different team in the Europa League last season.

Rolfes said [Sacha Pisani/Twitter]:

“We have watched Celtic in the last years, we signed Jeremie Frimpong from Celtic, we were interested in a player from Celtic in this summer. So we followed Celtic a lot in the last years.

“This is a special Leverkusen team” | Derek Rae previews a huge night for Celtic

“This is a special Leverkusen team” | Derek Rae previews a huge night for Celtic
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“They had very good international games, against AC Milan for example. I watched that game and I think it’s a strong team. You could see that in the first game against Betis. [It] was a really interesting game.

“With the fans now coming back, our last European international game before the lockdown with spectators [was] against Rangers… was a fantastic atmosphere there.

“[We hope to] come to Scotland and win again, after the lockdown.”

Leverkusen Sporting Director Simon Rolfes full of praise for Celtic

Given that Die Werkself have tried to steal away two Celtic players, with a 50% win rate, it’s no surprise that Rolfes likes what he’s seen from the Bhoys.

After all, he wouldn’t have been after Frimpong or Ajer if Celtic were entirely useless, would he?

Frimpong, after a middling start to life at Leverkusen, has had a great season thus far. Linking well with German prodigy Florian Wirtz, the ex-Celtic defender has 4 assists in 8 games [Transfermarkt].

Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

Interestingly, Bayer Leverkusen turned to a rumoured Celtic target when a Kristoffer Ajer deal didn’t work out. Piero Hincapié, a star for Ecuador in the Copa America, will likely start for the Bundesliga outfit tonight.

Clearly, Rolfes and the Celtic hierarchy move in similar circles.

Can Celtic overturn Leverkusen’s luck in Glasgow? As Rolfes pointed out, the Bundesliga giants won home and away over our rivals in early 2020 [UEFA].

They bring a very different line-up to Glasgow this time round.

Read more: Neil Lennon makes Celtic Park return tonight live on BT Sport