Reported Laxalt Al-Hilal rejection bodes well for Celtic summer move

By David Walton

January 8, 2021

The report from Gianluca Di Marzio that stated Diego Laxalt had turned down a contract from Al-Hilal to stay at Celtic was a surprising story, but it was certainly welcome.

Indeed, the reliable Di Marzio is one of the top sources in Italy. And yesterday, he reported that Laxalt had one heck of an offer on the table. It turns out the Uruguayan was apparently offered a three-year contract to move to Saudi side Al-Hilal.

Di Marzio claims that it was a deal that was worth a gob-smacking €3m per year (£2.7m). Al-Hilal were reportedly waiting to speak to AC Milan about the potential acquisition.

Had Milan received an offer they liked, they would’ve likely been free to call him back in January. This could’ve paved the way for a move to Saudi Arabia for the impressive left-back.

In the end, it was rejected. Di Marzio says Laxalt wants to continue playing with Celtic where he’s highly valued by Neil Lennon.

Laxalt rejects Al-Hilal; Celtic in good place for summer move

What’s clear here is that money isn’t Laxalt’s main objective then. At 27, it’s clear he still feels he can add something to the European game. This bodes well for Celtic in particular.

Anything we can offer the Uruguayan will likely be less than his contract at Milan. But it’s clear he’s been enjoying life in Glasgow. If he wasn’t it would be showing in his performances. He remains one of the best-performing players in Scotland nevermind Celtic.

That Laxalt feels such a commitment to Celtic is superb. He isn’t looking for any swift early exit despite how poor the season is going collectively. That’s big. It shows he has a hunger to turn things around here.

Celtic star Diego Laxalt celebrates after scoring against Hibs (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

This also follows a report from Di Marzio back in November that stressed Celtic’s interest in a permanent deal. This s starting to look like a match made in heaven as we now sit just months from the end of the season.

Granted, the elephant in the room is his agent’s previous comments. It looked as though his representative was trying to drum up interest last month. Ariel Krasouki stated as quoted by the Scottish Sun: “In the summer he will return to Milan after his loan contract at Celtic ends. Diego’s wish is to play next season in England. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

But even so, when he goes back to Milan it’s anyone’s game. Celtic still have so much to offer Laxalt, especially considering it looks like he won’t experience a packed Parkhead. Sign permanently then (here’s hoping) that’s something he can experience for himself.

Laxalt turning down Al-Hilal is a promising sign for us. He’s clearly enjoying life in Scotland so far.

In other news, Mark McKenzie isn’t the only MLS talent Celtic have recently missed out on.