Ex-Celtic target José Cifuentes joins Los Angeles FC

By Connor Gordon

January 14, 2020

Former Celtic target José Cifuentes has joined MLS outfit Los Angeles FC.

The central midfielder was a target for the Scottish champions last season [Football Scotland]. His £2.2million transfer fee begs the question as to why the club didn’t move for him at any point.

José Cifuentes in Los Angeles FC transfer

The 20-year-old has made the move north to California to play for LA FC from Universidad Católica.

Former Celtic target José Cifuentes in action for Ecuador. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Cifuentes has arguably made a side-wards step into a perhaps more exposed league for him.

The defensive midfielder has made 25 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring once. He is also an international for the under 21 and first team of Ecuador. Cifuentes was part of the Ecuador under 20 side that came third in the 2018 World Cup in Poland.

Cifuentes’ transfer to LA FC was $3 million which works out at around £2.2 million. The new man has signed a four year contract with the MLS outfit which shows their ambition to go far.

José Cifuentes is Los Angeles FC’s third most expensive buy. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Earlier in the weekend, it was reported that Cifuentes’ deal is the third most expensive in the club’s short history. However, the fee is arguably a small one in relative terms for the likes of Celtic who were once tracking him.

Have the Bhoys made a grave error by not bringing him to Glasgow?

Hoops are making mistake by not signing Ecuadorian midfielder?

Celtic are on the look out for players in all areas of the pitch for the right price.

Last July, Cifuentes himself said he had heard of Celtic’s interest but there was “nothing concrete.” It all went quiet on the western front as Scott Brown and Callum McGregor stayed permanent figures in the midfield.

Celtic captain Scott Brown could retire at any point. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, Brown isn’t getting any younger and he could end up retiring at the end of the season if he wanted.

Celtic are also looking at defensive midfielders in this window with far less experience than Cifuentes. This leaves the question of why the Celts didn’t just go through with the move?

Cifuentes is an international playing at a good level and looking to step up to challenge himself. He would have been an ideal candidate to take the mantle of Brown and also push McGregor.

Following his recent transfer, is it the case of Hoops penny pinching again from the board, or was Cifuentes really a close target for the club?