30 clubs are after free-agent Ryan Gauld; why Celtic could beat them all to his signature

By John McGinley

May 21, 2021

Celtic are surely one of the clubs monitoring the situation of Ryan Gauld?

There are no reports to that effect directly right now, but as the 25-year-old prepares to leave life at Portuguese side Farense behind, as many as 30 clubs are said to be chasing his signature this summer. [STV]

Gauld is out of contract and appears to be one of the most sought-after talents on the continent.

He’ll be well known to Celtic of course given his profile in his homeland and his incredible form as a teenager at Dundee United all those years ago.

But what would make the Hoops a stand-out option beyond the dozens of sides apparently keen on signature? Why would Gauld choose Celtic?

Unfinished business in Scotland?

Gauld has never struck me as the kind of personality that seeks validation from Scottish football. However, you can’t help but feel there is unfinished business for him over here – especially in relation to the national team.

Despite being involved in the Scotland set-up at U19 and U21 level, he’s yet to be capped with the senior side. He was left out of an extended 26-man squad for the European Championships this summer too.

That suggests that despite his efforts in Portugal he’s always going to be facing an uphill battle to prove himself in terms of international football.

A massive return to Scotland and renewed exposure in the Celtic first-team would undoubtedly put him at the forefront of media speculation and consideration for a future role in Steve Clarke’s squads.

Just look at what good Celtic form has done for David Turnbull, even in a poor season. He’s leapfrogged Gauld in the Scotland reckoning already.

Ryan Gauld could be the talismanic creative force of a new look Celtic

Celtic already have their fair share of attacking midfielders but doubts surround a number of them. Ryan Christie has less than a year left on his contract. Tom Rogic could be on his way out of the club too. Suddenly we look a little light when it comes to central creative forces.

Gauld has the ability to be that creative outlet for Celtic, as shown by his nine goals and seven assists in a relegated side this season. [Transfermarkt]

The Portuguese top-flight is no joke and Gauld has been one of the players to truly catch the eye.

Let’s not forget his stellar season in 2013/14 either. He scored eight goals and assisted 11 times that term as a stand-out for Dundee United, despite still being something of a novice.

Ryan Gauld during his Dundee United days / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/EuroFootball/Getty Images)

Wherever he ends up next, surely regular week-to-week football is the priority having missed out on plenty of top-flight action already in his career? The club can easily sell the Celtic project to the attacking midfielder by communicating a willingness to build the team around his playmaking ability.

Celtic need a player like him to unlock these stubborn defences.

Gauld needs a destination that offers him regular football, UEFA competition and increased exposure to the Scotland national team.

Sounds perfect to me.

In other news, PSG will take a 50% of profit on any Celtic Odsonne Edouard sale.