Celtic had been poised to finalise the signing of Wigan Athletic striker Kyle Joseph after talks in February, but Newcastle United could beat the Bhoys to his signature.
That’s the word from The Daily Mail this afternoon, who have provided some pretty in-depth details on the situation.
Journalist Simon Jones says that Celtic had been due to pay around £230,000 in cross-border compensation for the Scotland youth international.
However, with Newcastle coming in with £850,000, the English compensation fee – they feel that could tip the deal in their favour.
Ultimately Joseph can decide his own destiny given he is out of contract at the end of the season, but will perhaps think a move to Newcastle represents a better reward for a club who have invested in his development.
The Mail reckons that Newcastle are now favourites to land him in the summer.
Is it worth Celtic making a fuss for Kyle Joseph?
Joseph, still just 19, first showed signs of potential in last season’s FA Youth Cup, scoring an impressive six goals in four matches before the young Wigan side were knocked out by Manchester United’s U18s.
This season he’s made a breakthrough into the senior side, scoring five goals and assisting once in 14 English League One matches. [Transfermarkt]
However, a back injury has severely hampered his campaign. He hasn’t played for Wigan since January.
A move to Scotland may appeal to him on the international front. Although born in London, Joseph is part of the SFA youth set-up and has represented Scotland at U18 and U19 level.
Billy Stark has worked with him in that set-up and is a big admirer.
He told Herald Sport last month (11/03 print edition, page 6): “He’s six foot two, he’s mobile, and he’s improved I must say. Technically he wasn’t the best when we first had him, we definitely felt it wasn’t the strongest part of his game coming towards the ball and having his back to goal, that sort of thing.
“What he has got is pace, a great appetite to run and work for the team, and his goalscoring record throughout the levels was excellent at Wigan. He’s injured just now, but he’s carried that on in the first-team, most notably scoring a hat-trick.
“His finishing has improved as well, so he’s a great package for any club at 19-years-old, and there is plenty of room still for improvement too. The basics are there to improve him, and he’s a boy who is desperate to learn. I can’t speak highly enough of him”
There’s potential there, and for £230,000, he could well prove to be a shrewd signing.
Hopefully the club can make another push to bring him in ahead of clubs such as Newcastle.