Bodo/Glimt's Ola Solbakken can talk to clubs in July; Celtic should be one of them
A name that Celtic fans will know well these days is that of Bodo/Glimt attacker Ola Solbakken.
The Norwegian talent, who has 16 goals in 67 games for his club [Transfermarkt] ripped us apart in the Europa Conference League last-32 clash back in February. Solbakken notched an assist at Celtic Park before bagging a goal in the return leg.
Indeed, the 5-1 aggregate defeat was a humbling experience for the Hoops that brought us crashing back down to earth. But after bouncing back and looking likely to secure UCL qualification for next season, the Bhoys are in a much better place.
As for Solbakken, his contract with Bodo/Glimt is up at the end of the year. Indeed, December 31st 2022 is when his deal expires [Transfermarkt], meaning he can talk to clubs about a pre-transfer agreement as soon as July.
Celtic reportedly turned down a move for the Norwegian winger last summer. His agent has also already confirmed that he’ll move on to a bigger club when his contract expires [Daily Express].
The Hoops simply have to be one of those clubs asking the question of Solbakken. We are, after all, a much bigger club than Bodo/Glimt, and there hasn’t been much in the way of speculation regarding top clubs sniffing around for him. Outside of Roma, there have been no reports of clubs of a similar size to Celtic pondering a move [Gazzetta dello Sport]. Granted, that doesn’t mean clubs won’t come sniffing in the summer.
Celtic UCL carrot could attract Solbakken to Glasgow
Some may wonder why Solbakken would move to Glasgow given his current club outperformed us in Europe this season. But whilst that’s true, Celtic could have guaranteed UCL football to dangle in front of him. Not even Roma are likely to be able to say that given their position in Serie A.
Celtic being in the Champions League makes us a much more attractive option for a player of Solbakken’s calibre. It’s why making the group stages is so important for us. He could instantly be given an opportunity to show what he’s all about at the top level of the European game.
Sure, his contract isn’t up until December, but bagging him early could allow us to strike a quick deal with Bodo/Glimt. Norwegian football doesn’t have a track record when it comes to big-money sales either [Transfermarkt], and given Solbakken’s contract is up so soon, a cut-price bargain could be on the cards.
This feels like one that’s simply too good to just ignore. Solbakken is ready for the next level, and Celtic can offer him that pathway.
Some may feel it’s not necessary given the options we have on the flanks. But there’s no guarantee Jota returns next season and it’s not as if we would be splashing out much in the way of a transfer fee either. It’s all about evolving the squad, and whilst keeping them together is the main priority, the option of bringing in Solbakken can’t just be ignored.
It’s there for Celtic to ask the question in any case. Perhaps he’ll want an instant move to one of Europe’s top leagues. But if he would be open to playing UCL football in the best atmosphere world football can provide, Celtic should know now that this isn’t one to sniff at.