Former Celtic target Romain Perraud makes £11m move to Southampton

By Euan Davidson

July 3, 2021

Former Celtic target Romain Perraud has finalised a move to Southampton.

Perraud, who was chased by the Hoops in 2019, had considered across multiple transfer windows. Initially, as a Nice player, the left-back was keen on a move to Glasgow [Daily Record]. However, he joined Stade Brest instead, where he played 61 games, racking up an impressive 11 assists [Transfermarkt].

Celtic were then credited with interest again, in March of this year [Mirror]. At the time Perraud was keen to cool speculation regarding a move from Ligue 1.

That’s all changed now though. According to Hampshire Live, Southampton had a bid of £11m accepted for the Zidane-approved left-back. Not long after Celtic’s initial interest, the World Cup winning Frenchman was reported to be keen on the French youth international [Defensa Central].

Southampton and Leeds United have been long-term suitors for the Frenchman, too. And now, it’s the Saints who have landed Perraud on a four-year deal [Daily Echo]. He made 36 appearances for Brest last campaign, starting in all but one of those matches.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course. But it’s worth pointing out that instead of Perraud, Celtic opted for Rapid Vienna left-back Boli Bolingoli. To say he’s had a mixed time of it at Celtic would be underselling it somewhat. After becoming a bit of a cult hero in his first season, he alienated both the club and the supporters in the summer of 2020 [Herald].

Celtic fans will wonder ‘what if’ should Romain Perraud impress in England

It’s just typical, isn’t it? None of this to say that Celtic were legitimate competitors for Romain Perraud this time round, but it just had to be Southampton, didn’t it?

Perraud fighting Mauro Icardi to the ball / (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Amongst the Aaron Hickey and Josh Doig rumours, Celtic supporters may have forgotten about Perraud. However, he’s been a youth international across multiple French age groups, and is an attacking full-back. That kind of pedigree was alluring to us in 2019, and when links re-emerged in March, the excitement bubbled again. Especially given the form of Diego Laxalt, and the injuries suffered by Greg Taylor.

This isn’t so much a case of “one that got away”, though. It’s not as if he was in the door, a la Toney or McGinn. At the very least though, it’ll be interesting to see how the Frenchman gets on.

READ MORE: Forget “Barkers at Parkers”, it’s…