Report: Rafa Benitez's Everton preparing to make move for Celtic target Aurelio Buta

By David Walton

August 10, 2021

Celtic look set to miss out on Aurelio Buta with Everton set to make a move, according to the Scottish Sun.

Celtic have been linked with a move for the Royal Antwerp right-back over the last month. Last week, the hold-up in Buta’s move was explained after the Daily Record reported that the player’s wage demands were a problem. This was despite the fact that he apparently wasn’t asking for anything ridiculous.

However, the Sun believe that Antwerp actually threw out Celtic’s offer. The newspaper claims that the Hoops offered £1m for Buta.

Meanwhile, he’s been impressing Everton scouts hugely with his recent performances. The Sun report that Champions League and Europa League-winning manager Rafa Benitez has put Buta at the top of his transfer target list.

The player has been in action in recent weeks with Antwerp. But Benitez reportedly wants to add further depth to his right-back ranks.

Celtic look close to making a mess over Aurelio Buta transfer

In terms of right-back targets, none have been more prominent this summer than Buta. He looked like being Celtic’s number one target, and the sooner we got it done, the better.

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However, there has been minimal progress since last week. Or at least that’s how it’s come across to supporters desperately waiting on some right-back competition.

It’s worrying for fans that we had reportedly had a bid accepted and appeared to be haggling over wage demands. That would be a real disappointment. Granted, conflicting reports suggest we didn’t even get to speak to the player.

Even so, we’ve spent a lot of time with Buta seemingly at the forefront of our minds. It’s massively disappointing if we’re going to allow Everton to swoop in and take him from under our noses.

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Yes, Anthony Ralston’s performance levels have improved in recent weeks. Nobody can deny that, and it looks as though he could yet prove to be a useful squad player. But let’s not get trapped into believing he’s the number one choice going forward. There needs to be competition regardless.

Buta looked like being a cert to arrive in the door. Now it looks as though an EPL club is going to nab him. Not what we’re looking for in what’s such a priority position for the football club at the moment.

In other news, OH Leuven appear willing to allow Celtic-linked Thomas Henry to leave the club