A few rumours have been doing the rounds this afternoon over USA right-back Manny Perez.
The defender was on a trial at Celtic last month before heading back to the States. It seemed to be that it was going to be the last we heard from him, and it still even might be.
Many have been voicing their opinions on social media that he could be coming in this month, however. And it’s hardly a ludicrous suggestion either, given he was only just recently on trial.
The deal itself would look good on paper. A promising young USA under-20 international. Currently still at North Carolina State University and looking for his first senior move into the footballing world. It’s very similar to the interest the Hoops have in Andrew Gutman.
Where this deal could become a concern, however, is if he’s the direct replacement for Mikael Lustig.
Lustig’s time at Celtic is slowly coming to an end
The Swede’s contract is up at the end of the season, and needs replaced imminently. But, after being linked with Timothy Castagne a couple of weeks ago, this would be an uninspiring choice as his replacement.
Of course, many will say that the likely scenario is that he’s just back-up whilst he continues to develop. But Anthony Ralston is currently the number two right-back, and pushing him back to third-choice doesn’t make sense.
Ralston has done well in his few appearances this season, and deserves to keep his place as Celtic’s number two.
Cristian Gamboa’s contract is also up at the end of the season. Therefore, it could also be the case that he’s the Costa Rican’s replacement. That would, however, beg the question as to why Celtic need three out-and-out right-backs.
Should Celtic get a deal done for Perez, he surely can’t be the right-back we’ve all been wanting this January. He’s a highly-talented looking individual, and would perhaps even drop down to the youth side to hone his craft for a while.
But until Celtic splash the cash on a recognisable and proven replacement, it’s still a problem position. Building for the future is good, but it needs to be backed up with quality for the here and now.