Norwegian international admits Celtic interest was legitimate after summer link

By Euan Davidson

January 8, 2022

Patrick Berg has admitted that he turned down an approach from Celtic before making a big European move.

Berg, who starred for Bodø/Glimt in both the Norwegian top-flight and in Europe, had offers on the table. He ended up moving to RC Lens in Ligue 1, but he was made to address the overall interest he’d received.

And yes, that included, it appears, an approach from Celtic. VG reported in June 2021 that a Scottish Premiership club were keen on getting a deal done for the 9-cap Norway international [Transfermarkt]. 2 months ago, he got Celtic fans’ hopes up by talking up an exit from Bodø/Glimt.

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Now, Berg has confirmed that Celtic and Ajax were indeed interested in his service. Asked whether that was the case, via L’Equipe, Berg said: “Yes a few [clubs including Ajax and Celtic were interested]. 

“I had a good season with my club. But I felt that Lens was the best option for me. When I heard of their interest, it even became the only one at the end.”

At the very least, we won’t have to face him. Of course, Celtic drew Bodø/Glimt in the next round of the Europa Conference League. Berg had been key for the Arctic Circle side in Europe. Alongside Erik Botheim and Fredrik Bjørkan, Berg has departed before facing the Hoops in February.

And the club could lose even more talent, with Ola Solbakken being linked with a move to Turkey.

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Even if Celtic didn’t land Patrick Berg, it’s good to see scouts are looking in the right places

Every window there’s at least one “What if?” Celtic target who doesn’t get signed up. To me, Patrick Berg is that player.

Not to moan about Celtic’s already excellent transfer business. It’s more that Patrick Berg has already shown his quality both for Bodø/Glimt in Europe and for the Norway national team. He looks like part of a really exciting generation of Norwegian talent that includes Kristoffer Ajer and, yes, Erling Haaland.

Undoubtedly, Berg is a high-potential player who’s already really good. It’ll be interesting to see what he does at RC Lens, who have used smart recruitment to become a player in Ligue 1. It’s a great opportunity for him, and the lure of a top 5 league was probably important to him.

Photo by GINTS IVUSKANS/AFP via Getty Images

Especially with a national team manager who always has lots to say about his players’ club fortunes.

In any event, Celtic have recruited heavily into the midfield. Reo Hatate was unveiled today, and Yosuke Ideguchi has made himself known to Hoops supporters. There was clearly a plan beyond Patrick Berg, even if Celtic were keen on the midfielder.

It would’ve been quite a substantial coup for Celtic had a transfer for Patrick Berg come off. Ultimately, he’s chosen elsewhere, but it’ll be fascinating to see how his career develops.

Read more: Reo Hatate gives his thoughts on versatility; what he wants to bring to Celtic