Report: Former Celtic transfer guru could be handed keys to Newcastle's millions

By Euan Davidson

December 8, 2021

Former Celtic Head of Football Operations Nick Hammond is being cited for a temporary role at newly-minted Newcastle United, according to a report.

The Daily Mail report that an external recruitment firm are keen to bring in a short-term transfer advisor for the January transfer window. Nick Hammond, somewhat unbelievably, is one of the names linked with that job.

No decision has been made yet, but the Daily Mail listed Hammond amongst former Chelsea man Michael Emenalo and Swansea transfer chief Andy Scott. With the Saudi-backed club keen to splash the cash this winter, it’s an exciting, albeit high-pressure role for whoever takes it.

Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Hammond left Celtic under something of a cloud. His and Neil Lennon’s 20-21 signings, including Albian Ajeti and Vasilis Barkas, didn’t exactly work out. Shane Duffy, Diego Laxalt and Jonjoe Kenny all joined the club on loan, to middling impact at best.

He does still have some cachet in England, however. Hammond’s work with West Bromwich Albion and Reading, Hammond is still seen as someone who can build competent squads.

Certainly, it’d be quite the opportunity for him. Newcastle United were bought over by a Saudi consortium in October, much to the jubilation of their supporters.

Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues

Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

From failure with Celtic to a temporary, vital role with Newcastle United?

No harm to Nick Hammond but this would be the most egregious example of falling upwards we’ve seen. It’d be a bit like Neil Lennon getting the Barcelona job after how last season worked out.

Recruitment, i.e. bad recruitment, was a key reason why it went so wrong for Celtic last year. Nick Hammond was intimately involved in bringing players to the club. That his reputation seems to be unaffected is quite interesting to say the very least.

Newcastle United, who brought in a rookie English manager we’ve never heard of, will have the eyes of the world on them in January. While they’re unlikely to bring in elite talent just yet, there’s money to be spent. The Toon are languishing second from bottom. They’ve won a single game this season [Premier League].

Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Very obviously, they need new faces through the door at St James’ Park. If those names include Albian Ajeti and Vasilis Barkas, then hey, go for it.

It’s certainly an interesting one. Whether Hammond actually gets the job or not is one thing, but being linked to one of football’s most fascinating – if temporary – roles? That’s some going considering the recent chapter of the Nick Hammond CV.

Read more: Ange’s Celtic transfer masterplan gets some serious squad support