Al Ahly star Mohamed Magdy Afsha is still wanted by Celtic, according to the player’s agent Abdel Raham Ismail.
Afsha was first linked with a move to the Hoops in the summer, with Ismail claiming that an offer was on the table from Parkhead for Al Ahly to accept or reject (Scottish Sun).
Nothing came of it, and Afsha helped shoot Al Ahly to another Egyptian title whilst helping them into the CAF Champions League final. However, his agent believes that Celtic’s interest is anything but dead.
Revealing our apparent plan in comments published by Egyptian outlet KingFut, Ismail said the following:
“Scottish club Celtic are very interested in the services of Al Ahly’s Mohamed Magdy Afsha. Celtic want to sign Afsha and then loan him out to a European club.
“However, Al Ahly is against the idea of letting the player go especially as they are preparing for the CAF Champions League final.”
Afsha not a necessary signing
Afsha only signed for Al Ahly last summer, with the Scottish Sun reporting that he arrived there in a £900k deal. So, price-wise, this hardly looks like it would be too dear.
However, this just wouldn’t be like Celtic. It’s not been part of the club’s strategy to go scouting the Middle East for players who need to be sent straight out on loan. Considering Afsha is 24, you would hope any signing like him would be good enough to come straight into the side.
In addition to that, he plays in a central role – an area of the pitch where Celtic are absolutely brimming with talent. We all hope the likes of Tom Rogic and Ryan Christie will be here for the long-term, whilst David Turnbull is also available to play there having just signed over the summer.
You also have to take into consideration the fact that Olivier Ntcham and Callum McGregor also have experience of playing as number 10s in the past, although granted that isn’t their ideal positions. Even so, there are a lot more important areas of the pitch needing to be addressed than the number 10 position.
For a start, Celtic could do with another right-winger to help ease the burden on Jeremie Frimpong. Whilst Christie can operate in that area, it’s clear it’s not his favoured position.
So we’ll see what comes of the Afsha speculation. We’ll keep an eye on it, but for now it feels more likely that Celtic focus on other areas in January.