How events over the last 48 hours may have affected Celtic's transfer work

By David Walton

May 30, 2021

When it comes to Celtic’s transfer work, we all hoped work was well underway in that regard from both the club and their number one managerial candidate.

John Kennedy has already stated that there is work going on in the background for the new manager. He said the following, as quoted by the Scottish Sun, when quizzed on reported signing targets earlier this month:

“Everyone in this league will be covered. We will know who potentially could be capable of coming and who not. Kevin Nisbet has had a good season. Jack Ross has done a terrific job with him as well.

“Things will be put in place for when the club appoint a new manager. He has to make the decisions along with the club for what’s right for the group of players. It’s an ongoing process without any decisions being made.”

However, it wasn’t just Celtic were made to believe were cracking on with their work in the shadows. Eddie Howe, the club’s number one managerial candidate, was reported to be cracking on instead. It had been said that he wanted to bring Josh King to Celtic and that he had identified the Norwegian as the perfect replacement for Odsonne Edouard [Scottish Sun].

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

The same report claimed that Howe was working hard behind the scenes to identify signing targets for the Hoops. Yet, as we all know, talks between Howe and the club collapsed, nearly two months after we were linked with the likes of King.

There was a reason Celtic fans were happy to have Howe delay his appointment so long as he was eventually confirmed. Because there was an understanding that some of our major summer transfer deals were being worked on by the man himself. That he had already undertake nearly two months of transfer planning in the background.

Celtic’s transfer work has taken a major hit this weekend

Everything Howe may have been working on in the background will now be up in smoke. All of our major signing targets that he was ready to make a move for when he entered the job? Up in flames and instead likely targets for his next team.

We can’t expect the apparently imminent Ange Postecoglou to have done this same level of work. He simply won’t have had the time on his hands given he’s been working with Yokohama Marinos and wouldn’t have been expecting to get the job. If he was in the door tomorrow, he would likely be incredibly unprepared for the summer transfer window.

Meanwhile, what Celtic appear to have prepared for the new manager is all of the potential signing targets to consider from Scotland. There won’t be extensive work on foreign talents for the new man to look over. Sure, plans may have been put in place by the club for the new man, but you have to imagine, given Kennedy’s comments, that this solely focused on Scotland and potentially England.

Josh King was one of many players we hoped Eddie Howe was looking at / (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

That’s why the Howe collapse is so major. It’s not just the fact we’ve been turned down by a very good football manager. It’s that so much time has been invested in Howe’s transfer work. We’ve waited and waited whilst assuming the new manager was going to be lining up signings in the background.

That now isn’t the case, and it puts us back to square one as a club with regards to our rebuild. Postecoglou will get there in time if he’s appointed, but we’re now in a much worse situation in preparing for the window than we were a couple of months ago.

The Champions League qualifiers kick off in late July. Yet it could be mid-June until Postecoglou gets the opportunity to see the squad and start making big decisions. Fingers crossed he’ll have targets in mind immediately. If he doesn’t, it could be a long summer.

In other news, this Dundee United star is said to be waiting on an offer from Celtic.