It looks like reported summer target Jose Cifuentes won’t be moving to Celtic anytime soon, with The Scottish Sun claiming that he is on his way to Belgian outfit Club Brugge.
Celtic were first linked with the Ecuadorian back in June, when The Scottish Sun said we had a £2.5m interest in signing him, going head to head with Manchester City for his services.
The player later commented on a potential switch to the Scottish Premiership, apparently confirming the rumour.
The 20-year-old, as quoted by The Scottish Sun, said: “My aim is to play in Europe. I don’t know which club I will sign for yet – either Manchester City or Celtic. Nothing has been decided yet. I deserve my opportunity to play in Europe, it’s where I have to be. And my mentality is that I am going to be in Europe for a long time.”
Neil Lennon even weighed in on the subject in July, telling BBC Radio Scotland (17/07, live match): “It’s a player who we know very little about but one that has come up on the radar so that’s all I can say on that one.”
Now Sun journalist Alan Nixon, who originally reported the story, believes that the player is on his way to Belgium, which is ‘bad news for Celtic.’
Who is he?
If you weren’t keeping up with the transfer merry-go-round during the summer, you may not know much about Cifuentes.
He was one of the young Ecuadorian kids who excelled at the recent U20 World Cup, helping his side reach the semi-finals of the tournament, before ultimately beating Italy in a third-placed play-off.
A combative, defensively-minded midfielder, it seems likely that he would have immediately competed for a place in the team with Scott Brown and Callum McGregor.
He has little senior experience, so would have required a fair bit of patience. However, now winning senior caps with his country, his potential does look to be impressive.
It’ll be interesting to see how his career progresses in Europe if he does indeed make the move. Hopefully he’s not of the standard that we regret not buying him when the opportunity arose.