Celtic should be all over a pre-contract for ex-France international Clément Grenier

By David Walton

May 17, 2021

One of our top priorities should be ensuring that we signed experienced players and leaders ready to make an instant impact – that’s why we should be all over Clément Grenier.

Grenier is a France international midfielder who’s out of contract with Ligue 1 side Rennes this summer. At 30 years of age, he still has plenty to offer, but doesn’t seem to have a specific destination lined up for now.

His game-time with Rennes has dwindled as the season has gone on, but he’s still been a regular asset for them. Indeed, he’s managed 27 appearances this term with seven direct goal contributions to his name [Transfermarkt].

However, Grenier undoubtedly made his name with Lyon. The box-to-box midfielder made 154 appearances for Les Gones, and has extensive experience of both Champions League and Europa League football. That’s not to mention the fact he managed five caps with France back in 2013 and 2014. An impressive feat that shows exactly how highly he was regarded in his younger days.

But Grenier is nowhere near over the hill. He’s still proven himself to be extremely capable of bossing games at Ligue 1 level. He continues to work the box-to-box job without any problems, and has a terrific passing range and dribbling ability.

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Clément Grenier is available and Celtic would be silly not to ask the question

Given PSG’s almost monopoly of French football, it’s going over the top to say Grenier is a serial winner. But he does have three cup wins to his belt throughout his career – two with Lyon and one with Rennes in 2019.

As he looks for his next destination, this could be perfect for Celtic. Looking for an experienced figure to replace Scott Brown, Grenier would provide bags of it. In fact, he would walk into the club and be the most experienced player there. With the technical ability that matches anyone scheduled to be at Parkhead next season, this looks an absolute steal.

Granted, Grenier would have to take a sizable drop in wages. But what Celtic could offer him would trump many rival offers in France. The prospect of a return to Champions League football and the chance to add league medals to his CV. Celtic need to ask the question here.

Clément Grenier in action for Rennes (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)

Grenier wouldn’t be an out-and-out positional replacement for Brown. However, with Ismaila Soro available to play a more defensive-minded role, Grenier would be a fine addition just ahead of him. His midfield versatility would make him an even bigger asset.

It’s the kind of signing that would spark plenty of excitement ahead of the rebuild. In truth, we could do with a blockbuster addition or two. Grenier would certainly be that, and the chance to try something different to France would surely appeal.

If we managed to pull this off, it would send out exactly the right message this summer.

In other news, Pat Bonner believes it’s time for Celtic to end this frustrating transfer policy.