Celtic kickstart contract plans; Karamoko Dembele surely a priority target
With the transfer window over it appears that Celtic are pushing contract renewals, and Karamoko Dembele should be a priority discussion.
Indeed, Celtic got cracking with their first big piece of renewal news on Friday. The announcement that Callum McGregor had signed a five-year contract. Brilliant stuff, and a sign of the manager trying to ensure a backbone of big figures remains at this club for the long-term.
It’ll be interesting to see who else is part of Celtic’s hunt. Ange Postecoglou stated before McGregor signed a new deal that these things will be progressed now that the transfer window is over [Scottish Sun].
There are some that will require attention soon. The likes of Anthony Ralston, for example, will see his contract up next summer. James Forrest, Chris Jullien, Greg Taylor, and Tom Rogic meanwhile are all set for expiration dates in the summer of 2023.
There’s a lot to get through for Postecoglou. But as he attends to the players in his current first-team squad, it’s important not to forget about Dembele’s situation.
The promising young winger has been out since an impressive start to pre-season. An injury picked up against Bristol City has kept him sidelined for three months, the latest coming last month when Postecoglou stated he would be out for the “long-term” [Celtic YouTube].
So it’s easy to put Dembele at the back of our minds at the moment. The only problem? He’s out of contract next summer.
Celtic need to get around the table with Karamoko Dembele soon
Celtic still see Dembele as a highly-rated prospect, and quite rightly. There’s been strong media attention on him since he was as young as 13. Now, at 18 years of age, he’s getting to the stage where he’s ready to start making a first-team impact.
Last season, Celtic supporters were itching to see more of Dembele. And there was a massive concern that his contract was actually expiring last summer. This was cleared up by John Kennedy, who confirmed his deal would actually last a year longer [Daily Record].
That made sense. After all, Dembele would’ve been free to talk to clubs from January 2021 onwards. That he didn’t move before the summer was an indication he was still under contract. But Celtic don’t have that luxury this year.
Karamoko will be able to speak to clubs in just over three months’ time. And there will certainly be interest too. The likes of Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, and PSG have all been linked in recent years as keeping tabs on the right-winger [BILD].
Celtic are still waiting for Karamoko to make a big breakthrough. If he was allowed to leave for nothing in January, when he’s so close to that first-team opportunity, it would leave Hoops fans furious. Just because he isn’t making an impact at the moment, it doesn’t mean he’s a commodity we should cut ties with.
It all depends on the player too of course. Dembele needs to want to stay at Celtic under Postecoglou if terms are to be agreed. Why he’s been allowed to enter the final year of his deal is a bit of a red flag as it is.
So as Celtic continue to press on with their contract talks, getting round the table with Dembele should be high on the priority list.