Report: Atletico's Rodrigo Riquelme set for English switch despite links to Celtic
Reported Celtic transfer target Rodrigo Riquelme is set to join English Championship side Reading on loan this season despite links with the Scottish champions, Marca has reported this week.
The Spanish outlet states he is already on trial with the Royals and will return with them from their pre-season trip to Portugal after featuring in a friendly on Monday.
It comes after numerous Spanish reports, since March, suggesting that Celtic were weighing up making a move for the 20-year-old talent.
Mundo Deportivo reported before last season’s curtailment that the youngster’s performance in a UEFA Youth League match against Rangers had alerted Celtic to his talents.
It was later reported by the same source that a youth exodus from Atletico could result in Riquelme landing in Glasgow.
However, a Championship move could add a new dimension to his game. It’s a tough league for young players and could help him find a steely side to his already creative and intelligent play style.
He is highly rated at Atletico and Marca also report they are in discussions to extend his contract beyond next year, despite this loan.
Former Atletico academy director Miguel Angel Ruiz told Goal in September 2019: “In my view, he is a ‘trequartista’, either on the right, left or in the centre, but always behind the strikers.
“I have had conversations with national selectors and I told them that what I think is best is that he plays from the wing. In this way, his diagonal runs, preferably from the left, end in him shooting or passing to a team-mate.
“His change of pace is brutal and is something that could differentiate him with others in his age group. He has speed, change of pace and ability to overpower an opponent in one-on-one situations. On the right wing, he can do it but he will lose a little. The left is his best position.”
It’s unlikely that Reading would have been able to outgun Celtic if we were truly interested in the player.
The Bhoys could definitely do with a bit of added firepower on the flanks but perhaps Lennon feels he needs a bit more experience to challenge James Forrest and Mohamed Elyounoussi.
This week we’ve again been linked with January target Christian Atsu, who has vast experience at international level as well as many appearances in the top-flights of multiple European leagues.