Celtic-linked Rodrigo Riquelme looks set to finalise his loan switch to Reading, according to the Reading Chronicle.
Riquelme has been with the Royals on trial for almost three weeks after arriving from Atletico Madrid, but has yet to put pen to paper on a contract.
However, the Reading Chronicle believes that the deal is relying on the player signing a new contract with Madrid, and that the switch is now close to completion.
The newspaper also understands that the tricky winger met with Reading boss Veljko Paunovic at his hotel earlier today, heightening speculation that the transfer is close.
Celtic, in the market for a right winger such as Riquelme, were said to have been alerted to the player after a starring performance against Rangers in the UEFA Youth League back in March (Mundo Deportivo).
Hoops don’t look anywhere near this one anymore
Mundo Deportivo reported as recently as last month that an exodus of players was happening at Atletico that included Riquelme, and that Celtic remained interested.
However, since then, the Hoops have yet to bring in a right-winger whilst Riquelme was allowed to leave for a trial with Reading. Celtic have since not been rumoured to have developed their interest.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Riquelme would’ve waltzed into the Celtic team in any case. He’s only featured twice for the Atletico senior side in cameo appearances, and has only featured 23 times for the B team as well (Transfermarkt).
Yet if Celtic had snapped him up, it would’ve provided the player with an opportunity to work on his strength against a more physical style of player than what he’s used to in Spain. It would also have given us a chance to have a good look at an exciting young talent who has impressed consistently in the UEFA Youth League (he bagged three assists against Rangers in February).
But it looks like we’ll almost certainly need to put a cross through this one. As Celtic’s right-winger search goes on, it looks nailed on that Riquelme won’t be the man to come in.
Who that player will be is anyone’s guess.