Report: Celtic made offer for Barcelona youngster in the summer; Xavi likes him

By Euan Davidson

December 1, 2021

According to a Spanish report, Barcelona youngster Mika Marmol did have an offer from Celtic this summer.

Mundo Deportivo report that Celtic, along with Getafe and Mallorca, put offers in front of Barcelona. In more recent times, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla have reportedly shown interest.

Rumours around Mika Marmol emerged in the summer, but nothing concrete. While Mundo Deportivo insisted there was interest, there was no detail about the nature of any offer.

Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Now, however, the source indicates that Marmol had “offers on the table”, one of which was from Celtic. The Bhoys ended up signing Carl Starfelt from Rubin Kazan, Josip Juranovic from Legia Warsaw, Cameron Carter-Vickers on loan from Tottenham Hotspur and Liam Scales from Shamrock Rovers.

New Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is believed to be watching Mika Marmol’s development closely. Thus far, Marmol has played 14 times for Barcelona’s B Team [Transfermarkt].

A smart, left-sided defender who can play left-back or centre-back, Marmol is just 20 years old. With a manager like Xavi in charge, himself brought into the Barca fold at a young age, his future looks bright.

Holding 5 caps for Spain’s U20 side, the pedigree is obvious. With Barcelona needing to lower their wage bill, Marmol could be a long-term replacement for either Samuel Umtiti or Clement Lenglet in the Blaugrana defence.

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Celtic were in hunt for Barcelona defender Mika Marmol, liked by Xavi, after all

Fine, we didn’t get him in the end, but players of Mika Marmol’s profile are exactly the type of player Celtic should be looking at.

Teams like Barcelona make regrettable transfer decisions on young players all the time. That includes players they’ve ended up spending money to re-sign. Think Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas etc.

Young, mobile and with a La Masia education, his technique and physical tools would’ve translated well to Scotland. However, Celtic went in another direction. In fairness, it’s worked a treat.

Photo by FelipeMondino/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

With news over Cameron Carter-Vickers emerging overnight, it’s inevitable the club will need to look at long-term defensive options. Stealing away talented players from overstocked youth academies may be the smart move.

Celtic may have failed in overtures to players like Mario Vuskovic and Mark McKenzie, but there’s an obvious profile there. Young, technically gifted centre-backs with great resale value.

Hard not to think of Virgil van Dijk in that context, isn’t it?

Now, an approach for Mika Marmol seems most unlikely. However, Celtic had intent and were looking to the right markets for talent.

That’s no bad thing.

Read more: Tottenham Hotspur moving the goalposts over Celtic man hurts them, Hoops and the player himself