Celtic must hope that someone wants their money this time

A good manager can always use a defeat, especially an unexpected one to his advantage.

As with the 4-0 defeat to Hearts last season the Irishman deployed it to good effect.

His message at Ibrox was the same one that he had uttered at Tynecastle, “remember how this feels. Put it right next time out”.

Moreover, he didn’t want to use the outbreak of a vomiting bug in his squad during that week as an excuse for the lack of energy that his players had clearly manifested during the match at Ibrox.

It is clear that the champions need to be reinforced before hostilities recommence at the end of the month.

Failure to do so could be costly.

Celtic fans may well recall the January transfer window of 2009.

The Parkhead side was ahead in the league, but it was clear that they needed to strengthen up front.

Steven Fletcher of Hibernian was the player identified by Gordon Strachan.

The deal fell down in a fashion that was very similar to what transpired over last summer with John McGinn.

The explanation from the Celtic CEO for not getting the player was “no one wanted our money”.

It was spin and it didn’t wash with many of the Celtic fans.

Now the problem is that might actually well be the case during this window, but because the same chap is doing the deals then the suspicion will linger.

I spoke with a well-placed chap in the agent world and he shared this vignette by way of explanation.

He told me that “Man City currently have 14 twenty-year-olds on £25 k per week. None of them has played a first-team game!”

The dilemma at Celtic is that do they break with the model that has seen them bring in young talent that they then sell on and go for proven players who are near the end of their careers.

Sevco are bringing in Steve Davis and now, reportedly Jermain Defoe, are putting it all on this one.

They believe they can stop Celtic this season.

Mr Gerrard and the Sevco High Command should be encouraged by some of the dangerous complacency emanating from the same source that came up with “no one wanted our money”.

Now, a loan deal for Timothy Weah does make sense for both clubs if it is for 18 months and not six.

The former allows PSG to take their asset off the balance sheet and that makes the Financial Fair Play figures look a bit better.

Certainly, Brendan wants him on the plane to Dubai.

He would also be delighted if Vakoun Issouf Bayo was also airborne with the Hoops.

If both Lubo and Kolo Touré rate the kid, then he is obviously a player.

Celtic have now built up a reputation with two mega-rich clubs: Man, City and PSG.

They both know that the Parkhead side is a useful proving ground for promising young players.

Over 18 months they can see how the kid develops while temporarily removing an asset off the balance sheet.

However, Rodgers needs first team starters to help tip the balance in favour of the champions.

Celtic have seriously messed up in the last two transfer windows.

A hat-trick of failures could hand Sevco the league.

No amount of smirking spin will conceal such an event in May.

 

Discover Phil’s dramatic play Rebellion