Report: Atletico Madrid youth exodus opens door to Celtic move for Riquelme

By John McGinley

August 25, 2020

Celtic remain interested in Atletico Madrid youngster Rodrigo Riquelme and an exodus of youth and reserve talent from the Spanish club could open the door to a Bhoys move, Mundo Deportivo has reported this week.

The outlet believes that, due to the ongoing pandemic, the La Liga outfit will be shedding many of their B team talents before the transfer window shuts, with the players themselves eager to find a secure place to play football over the coming season.

Mundo Deportivo followed that report up with a look at Riquelme’s situation with regards to Celtic on Monday.

Journalist Chema G. Fuente reports that the Bhoys have offered the player the chance to feature in the first-team over the coming season and remain very interested in his services.

However, with no guarantee of a regular start, the player could be against a switch to Glasgow.

Reported Celtic target Rodrigo Riquelme / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic’s interest in Riquelme goes back to last season, with Mundo Deportivo reporting as early as March that we were keen on the player.

It was said at the time that scouts were very impressed with what he had to offer against rivals Rangers in the UEFA Youth League.

The young winger assisted three of their four goals that day in February, knocking the Scottish side out of the competition.

Indeed, his performance was so impressive that some Rangers fans took to social media to laud his performance and declare him ‘a star’, as reported by Mundo Deportivo at the time.

The Spanish side have tried to protect against the winger leaving, with Marca reporting back in March that he has a massive €30m (£27.2m) release clause in his current deal.

However, he’s managed to make just two senior appearances for the club, both of which have come from the bench.

Reported Celtic target Rodrigo Riquelme / (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

At youth and reserve level, he’s impressed, netting eight goals and assisting seven more in 38 competitive appearances for Atletico’s B and U19 sides over the last two seasons (Transfermarkt).

Celtic need cover for James Forrest and Mohamed Elyounoussi on the wing, with only Karamoko Dembele and Mikey Johnston currently natural out wide, the latter of whom is injured.

Is Riquelme the talent who can add creativity and firepower to our ranks?

In other news, Celtic are said to have won the race for Aaron Hickey.