Celtic are set to miss out on Charlton winger Alfie Doughty.
The Stoke Sentinel have suggested that Michael O’Neill’s side will look to finish a deal by the weekend. The transfer will involve Doughty staying in London until 21-22.
Doughty had been on Celtic’s radar for a considerable length of time. Reports first emerged about the English youngster in September.
A mobile, pacey winger who can play from left-back all the way up the flank, he looked like a perfect signing for the Bhoys. Now, Celtic are poised to miss out on Alfie Doughty after months of speculation.
No fee has been publicly announced for the 21-year-old, although Glasgow Live have indicated that £650,000 had been accepted. English clubs QPR, Brighton and Bournemouth were also linked to Doughty’s signature.
The last few days have been a roller-coaster for the youngster. Only yesterday, there were signs that Celtic were still in with a shot. The Stoke Sentinel, however, suggest that the deal is essentially wrapped up.
The sweetener, from Charlton’s perspective, is that Doughty will be allowed to stay at Charlton until the season’s end. With the Addicks chasing promotion to the Championship, they’ll not want to lose one of their key players in January.
Celtic would’ve wanted reinforcements immediately, and it seems unlikely the Bhoys would agree to such a deal.
Celtic dealt huge blow in Alfie Doughty chase
It’s another blow for Celtic, whose supporters will feel aggrieved about the likes of Stoke beating us to big signings. If Doughty indeed signs with the Potters, it’s a sad indication of our waning fortunes.
Instead of competing for trophies and playing in Europe, footballers would rather try the second tier of English football. Whether that’s a result of the English Championship’s improved reputation, or our declining fortunes, is up for debate.
In any case, Doughty is, in many ways, exactly what the club needs. He’s a versatile option like Diego Laxalt, who can play anywhere on the left. I would say that kind of adaptability is priceless, but apparently it’s worth £650,000.
We suggested earlier this month that the Bhoys haven’t been aggressive enough in the transfer market. Provided this Stoke deal goes through, Celtic will have missed out on two of their top targets before the middle of the January window. Mark McKenzie chose Genk over a move to Glasgow.
Whether there’s a communication breakdown between the board and Nick Hammond, or Neil Lennon needs convincing about targets, we don’t know. What we can say though, is that something is going very wrong for Celtic in the transfer market.
If we’re to make up ground on Rangers, that has to change immediately.