Sky reporter says Celtic-linked Rodrigo Riquelme is close to Bournemouth loan

By David Walton

September 29, 2020

Sky Sports reporter Mark McAdam believes that Celtic-linked winger Rodrigo Riquelme is close to signing for Bournemouth and that he’ll undergo a medical today.

Atletico Madrid youngster Riquelme, who recently signed a new contract in Spain, initially looked destined for Reading. After spending time on trial there, it seemed a cert the Royals were going to seal a deal for him.

Reported Celtic target Rodrigo Riquelme / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Nearly two weeks ago, the Reading Chronicle claimed that manager Veljko Paunovic said they were “optimistic” about signing Riquelme on a season-long loan. The Chronicle also said that the deal was dependent on him signing a new deal with Atletico.

Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reported back in August that an exodus of youth players at the Vicente Calderon could depart, and that Celtic was a possible destination for Riquelme. However, Sky journalist McAdam now believes he’s closing in on a shock move to the Vitality Stadium, just days after a move to Reading seemed inevitable.

Celtic unlikely to have made a move

Given it looked so certain that Riquelme was off to Reading, it’s a real surprise to see Bournemouth now become the favourites to sign him out of nowhere.

But regardless of the fact that they fended off interest from other clubs, it seems unlikely that Celtic were one of them. The Hoops weren’t mentioned specifically in McAdam’s tweet, and haven’t been linked with any further progress in Riquelme since August’s report by Mundo Deportivo.

It looks almost certain that Celtic have moved on from any interest in the trickster. Riquelme has dazzled in the past for Atletico Madrid youth side – most notably bagging a hat-trick of assists against Rangers in the UEFA Youth League. But even that hasn’t sparked an official approach it seems.

Reported Celtic target Rodrigo Riquelme / (Photo by Rubén de la Fuente Pérez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The reason being that there’s something off-putting about the prospect of a one-year loan. Whilst Riquelme can play anywhere across the attacking midfield positions, he’s most comfortable down the right side.

James Forrest and Jeremie Frimpong are now battling it out for regular minutes in that position. Throwing in a loan player when Frimpong in particular is showing so much potential just wouldn’t seem right. Any interest we may have had would’ve surely come well before Bournemouth tried to sign him.

It’ll be good to see Riquelme finally make his move, wherever he does end up. But it almost certainly won’t be at Parkhead as Bournemouth suddenly become the favourites to nab him.

In other news, one of Hibernian’s key stars has admitted that Celtic simply “outplayed” his side on Sunday.