If you ask me, £20m for Celtic star Odsonne Edouard is already cheap.
Arsenal are the latest to have been linked, with a replacement needed for Alexandre Lacazette. Mikel Arteta’s side are looking for more of a complete forward, and Edouard fits the bill. In the summer just past, reports claimed that Celtic wanted £40m for their top talent [Daily Mail]. That’s hardly unreasonable given Kieran Tierney’s £25m departure in 2019.
While as much as £40m might seem incredibly unlikely, it’s the kind of fee that actually represents good value for the Bhoys. Celtic striker Edouard has a 40% sell-on clause in his contract, after all. The PSG academy product came through the ranks in Paris, and their financial management has paid dividends once again.
The Qatari consortium that owns PSG clearly have their thinking caps on when they sell players. Edouard, who came to Celtic for £9m in 2018 [Sky Sports], has been a massive hit. Given that Moussa Dembélé also came from the PSG academy, before moving to Fulham, the Bhoys selling the Frenchman to Lyon raked the Parisians in a grand sum of zero.
Knowing they couldn’t make that mistake again, the rather sharp 40% clause means that, of course, nearly half of the money made from our best player goes to his former club.
That makes selling Edouard much trickier.
Should Celtic gamble over Edouard?
The best-case scenario is a bidding war for French Eddy, in the likely event that he wants a move. His talents are worthy of a top-5 league, and he’ll want to test himself in elite European competition.
That’s something he can’t really do with Celtic. Therefore, it’s the Bhoys’ prerogative to drive up the price for the striker by rejecting low offers and keeping Edouard on-side. If they can convince him of the virtues of accepting a more reasonable offer by Celtic’s standards, then it’s a relative win-win.
Actually doing that might be harder, though. Edouard signed with agency group Stellar, who will also be aggressively pursuing profit from any sale of the striker.
Stellar were also heavily involved in Kieran Tierney’s move to Arsenal. There’s an established relationship there, and it’s one the agency will be looking to exploit. If the Gunners are Edouard’s preferred destination, then the links continue. However, Celtic can’t afford to get this wrong.
With all the money lost through COVID and not getting into the Champions League, the board need a result here. If Edouard had a longer contract, and times were normal, he’d net a significant profit for the Bhoys, even with a 40% sell-on clause. However, these aren’t normal times, and Eddy could run down his contract, meaning no profit at all.
Celtic would be best-placed pitting sides against each other. An auction, if you like, for Edouard would net the biggest fee. It’s risky, certainly. But accepting a “decent” offer of £20m or so doesn’t actually help Celtic that much.
Especially in the context of losing our best player.