Celtic target Tommy Smith is reportedly set to choose Stoke City over Celtic.
According to the Daily Record, the right-back has chosen to stay in the Championship with the Potters. Stoke apparently met the asking price set by Huddersfield.
Smith didn’t take part in any of Huddersfield’s two friendly matches yesterday. That, as expected, fuelled talk over a move to Celtic. But, instead, the Record believes he’s set to head back down to England as opposed to up north.
It’s a bit of a blow for Celtic too. Smith was clearly a target for the club, and it continues our frustrating search for a right-back to replace Mikael Lustig.
The Record believes the apparent failure to lure Smith to Glasgow could see us turn to Sheffield United’s George Baldock once again. Celtic apparently had a £3million bid for him accepted earlier on this summer. But with our frustrations in the market so far, it could see us turn up the heat in our chase for a right-back.
Stoke City to nab Celtic target, but club must have other options
Celtic will surely have had alternatives to Smith already on their radar. It looked like a deal that would go ahead after his exclusion from the Huddersfield friendly matches. But if it doesn’t, hopefully we act swiftly to lure our secondary target in.
Smith hasn’t arrived in Stoke just yet, of course. The report could still be bogus. But it’s difficult to make a case against it that would be anything other than hope.
Celtic have shown intent in landing that right-back target, however. That’s still a positive sign for supporters. We have a week until we need to submit our squad to UEFA for the second qualifying round of the Champions League (UEFA, page 43). Effectively, that gives us seven days to get a right-back in.
Celtic proved with the purchase of Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo that they can do business quickly when it suits. With a bit of luck, we act just as quickly to get a right-back in over the next week.
We’ll still wait and see where Smith rocks up at. But it doesn’t look good at this point, and a fresh target may yet need to be found. Baldock didn’t prove attainable earlier on in the window, so it will be interesting to see if things change there.