Report: Bristol City takeover talks could hand Celtic Rob Atkinson initiative

By David Walton

June 22, 2021

Bristol City’s takeover talks could potentially hamper any deal to sign Oxford United centre-back Rob Atkinson, Bristol Live reports.

The Bristol-based outlet believes that the club has made an offer in excess of £1.4m for the Oxford man. This comes after the Sun on Sunday claimed that Celtic were also interested in the young defender.

Bristol Live claims that clubs may need to reach the £2m mark to sign the League One talent. However, City are confident they can lower down the asking price.

But Celtic may be given an advantage given the uncertainty surrounding Bristol City just now. They’re currently in the midst of takeover talks and it remains unclear whether the new board would sanction any deal for Atkinson.

Atkinson made 44 appearances for Oxford in all competitions last season. However, he’s never played above League One level [Transfermarkt].

Celtic signing Rob Atkinson would represent an expensive project signing

Make no mistake, this firmly falls into the bracket of a project signing. Atkinson hasn’t been playing at a level that suggests he’ll be waltzing into the first-team squad this season. In fact, quite the opposite, he looks like he would be another expensive project signing.

Celtic undoubtedly need centre-backs, but we would all hope we would be signing for players with a higher profile. Players of Atkinson’s calibre won’t cut it if we’re looking to make inroads in Europe this summer.

Atkinson did impressively manage to make the League One Team of the Year alongside fellow Celtic target Charlie Wyke. After spending much of his youth days in France before moving to the National League in England, Fulham plucked him out as one for the future.

Celtic target Rob Atkinson / (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

It didn’t work out for him in London. However, after a couple of impressive spells with two more National League clubs, Oxford handed him his big chance. He appears ready for a step-up, but there’s no point underestimating the scale of the leap from League One to Celtic.

Atkinson may very well be a long-term centre-back option. One who, with a bit of exposure and development at Lennoxtown could make his mark at Parkhead.

But for the here and now? For me we need stronger and players with a bigger pedigree than this.

In other news, what’s next for Celtic as we press ahead with another important week.