Intrigue for Celtic as club bring in stern competition for Bhoys-linked talent

By Euan Davidson

November 19, 2021

There’s significant intrigue for Celtic fans today, ahead of what will surely be a busy January transfer window. After the Hoops were linked to Shamrock Rovers man Danny Mandroiu this week, Rovers manager Stephen Bradley rubbished the rumours.

Speaking to the 42, Bradley said there’d been “zero interest” he’s aware from Celtic.

Fine, except; Shamrock Rovers look set to bring back a club favourite, in the exact same position as Mandroiu.

Jack Byrne, who left Shamrock Rovers to join Mick McCarthy at APEOL Nicosia, has come back to the club [RTÉ].

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Byrne, until today a free agent, was the last great midfield goal-scorer for Shamrock Rovers. In his last season with the Tallaght side, he scored 9 and set up 10 in the league [Transfermarkt].

The former Manchester City youth talent was left stranded in Cyprus, though. Mick McCarthy was sacked not long into his tenure, before rapidly improving Cardiff City last season.

Now, he’s returned [RTÉ]. Byrne has moved back home. Stephen Bradley either wants to build a ridiculously high-scoring midfield, or he’s preparing for a Danny Mandroiu exit.

And it’s Celtic who are most prominently linked with the Irish midfielder [Sun].

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Could Shamrock Rovers bringing back Byrne be a sign of movement for Celtic?

It wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that Mandroiu was a direct replacement for Byrne.

When we spoke to Dave Donnelly of Dublin Live earlier this week, that was indicated. As goal-scoring midfielders go, it was essentially a straight swap. And it was one that worked out well for Shamrock Rovers.

The South Dubliners romped to another League of Ireland title, with Mandroiu scoring 15 and setting up 5 in league action [Transfermarkt]. 20 goal contributions a season will get you noticed.

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

On the other hand, Bradley could just be building something formidable at Shamrock Rovers. With the money from Liam Scales’ move to Celtic, he has resources there.

However, it is an interesting scenario. To put it in Celtic terms, it does feel a bit like when Kyogo arrived, and Odsonne Edouard looked to be on his way.

Intrigue indeed for Celtic fans, especially with reports suggesting the club are highlighting midfielders this January transfer window.

Despite Bradley’s protests, could Mandroiu be Celtic bound after all? His actions, bringing Byrne back, speak volumes.

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