Ange Postecoglou isn't issuing a Celtic transfer 'warning' to fans; there is nothing to fear

By John McGinley

February 4, 2023

Ange Postecoglou’s Friday comments on Celtic transfer strategy have taken a few spins in the Scottish football media news cycle over the last 36 hours, with some outlets characterising them as a ‘warning’ to supporters.

Postecoglou was talking to Sky Sports ahead of Sunday’s trip to St Johnstone and was asked about the ongoing squad-building process – which naturally involves transfers in and out of the club.

The club are letting go of two players you would consider as influential in last season’s title-winning squad – Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis. Undoubtedly, it can be disappointing for supporters to see favourites leave, but for Postecoglou it’s all part of the process of building the Bhoys into a team that gets better over time.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Postecoglou’s Celtic transfer stance

The Celtic manager told Sky Sports: “I said we have to be aggressive, not reactive. There was an opportunity in this window. I had an inkling that at least a couple of significant players would move on, in Josip and particularly Giakoumakis, so I really thought it was important to get ahead of the game there and get in players to replace them.

“If we didn’t lose those players in the window I was comfortable with that as well, as was the club, there wasn’t a need to sell anyone. It was a unique opportunity for us, the boys moved on. With the business we’ve done, if Giakoumakis goes though, we’ve moved on two players who are 27, 28, and brought in four who are under 24 for an awful lot less money and I think will make us stronger in the long-term.

“It’s not about forcing players out, obviously there are going to be opportunities. There is a model this club worked on for a long time and other clubs work on. What we’re trying to do is maximise the potential of our players but there won’t be any intent to move players out, but if we do have our players having interest from other clubs, if it’s a good deal for everyone involved, we’ll make sure to be ready for that. All our thinking and strategy is to be a step ahead of what might come at us.”

Celtic’s business is paying off for the club and fans

Celtic supporters need only look at the 2020/21 season to see the cost of holding on to players for too long, past their desire to stay in Glasgow. We kept key talents and, from the outside, that looked exciting at the time. But ultimately it was a mistake that contributed to one of our worst seasons in memory.

A more proactive and calculated stance when it comes to transfer windows is welcome. We don’t need to be fearful of the board asset-stripping the squad, that’s not what is happening. Postecoglou is plainly communicating the process of moving on players can be just as important for the football side of the club as the business side of it.

Clubs showed interest in two quality Celtic players this window, they were interested in exploring those opportunities and the club managed to take in transfer fees that covered spending on a clutch of new signings. It’s almost guaranteed to happen again, potentially even in the summer.

Were Celtic ever going to get as much as they negotiated for Juranovic and Giakoumakis in the future? It was unlikely given their ages and profiles.

As long as we continue to adequately replenish the squad with talents ready to play first-team football at the level our manager wants, there is no warning Celtic fans need to heed and that’s certainly not what Postecoglou is trying to get across to the support – despite the headlines.

In other news, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou expertly sidesteps target trap.