6 Celtic loan transfer options as Ange Postecoglou seeks next Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers
The loan market has been particularly favorable to Celtic in recent seasons.
It’s something Ange Postecoglou made excellent use of last term as Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers were smash hits for Benfica and Tottenham.
The latter is definitely back and Jota should follow in the coming days.
And with those deals done, attention turns to who Parkhead’s next loan gem could be.
The club have money to spend after getting a Champions League salary, but the resources are not unlimited and Vinicius Souza has already been linked to a first loan deal.
here Save sport run the rule on six other potential diamonds in the rough.
Paulo Bernardo (Benfica)
Both Celtic and Benfica have reason to be happy with the way Jota’s loan spell went last season.
Save sport understands that negotiations are well underway to make it permanent – with a deal due to be announced this week.
And it looks like teams are keen to do business with linked 20-year-old midfielder Paulo Bernardo again.
The Portugal Under-21 star broke into the first team during the second half of last season and is said to be keen to fight for his place.
But his £7m price tag is similar to Jota’s and a temporary move to Parkhead – while keeping his long-term options open – could be on the cards.
A versatile midfielder, Bernardo’s pressing numbers are impressive, as he also managed 7 key assists in just 839 minutes of league action last season.
Joe Rodon (Tottenham)
Welsh defender Rodon finds himself at a surprisingly similar crossroads to Carter-Vickers at Tottenham.
Signed from Swansea two years ago, the centre-back arrived with a seemingly big future but is struggling to develop his potential with just 15 Premier League appearances.
Seemingly unrated by Antonio Conte, a loan move seems highly likely for the 24-year-old, who has three years left on his contract.
A move within the Premier League could be favoured, although Spurs are likely to listen to any offers.
And with Champions League football definitely on the agenda at Celtic Park, it would be an attractive option for the 27-time Wales side.
Keaton Parks (New York)
Formerly signed to Benfica, Parks was once one of the brightest prospects in American football.
Now 24 and plying his trade in MLS, however, his rise to the top has plateaued somewhat.
And if he wants to realize his potential and have the career that many expect of him in his native country, he will have to make a jump to Europe at some point.
The Texas-born midfielder is combative but deceptively subtle, at his best in a midfield role. He’s been a regular for NYC this season and they won’t want to lose him, especially halfway through the MLS season.
But they are also unlikely to deny him another chance in European football and he will be on Postecoglou’s radar since his time at City Football Group.
Any loan for Parks would likely come with an option to buy, and the 18-month deal that brought James Sands from New York to Rangers can be used as a yardstick for how it might be structured.
Yan Couto (Manchester City)
Couto, 20, is a player who is on Celtic’s radar after being heavily linked last summer.
He ended up joining Braga instead – where he enjoyed a terrific season in Portugal’s top flight.
The right-back isn’t exactly a concern for Celtic at the moment with Tony Ralston flying high and Josip Juranovic proving a stable option.
But Couto brings something different to the table. He is a creative force of nature and seems like the perfect candidate for the reverse full-back role that Postecogluu covets.
He could be key to unlocking tight defenses and has an eye for passing that neither Ralston nor Juranovic possess.
He’s also versatile enough to play on the wing or at left-back if needed.
However, a lack of guaranteed first-team minutes may mean Manchester City are looking elsewhere for their Brazilian sensation.
Josh Wilson-Esbrand (Manchester City)
Another City youngster who could well be on the agenda is left-back Josh Wilson-Esbrand.
The 19-year-old has been linked to The Express claiming the “wonderkid” is lined up to provide cover for Greg Taylor.
He won’t be a guaranteed starter, but as a natural left-back there would be minutes available – especially if Celtic sink deep into the Champions League.
He has only made one appearance for City’s first team as he impressed in the EFL Cup against Wycombe and the next step for him is regular first-team football.
Harvey White (Tottenham)
Another Spurs option, young midfielder White is difficult to assess given his lack of first-team involvement.
At 20, he’s one for the future, but a move to Portsmouth in the first half of 2021 showed what he’s talking about.
White likes to break through lines and he’s in Callum McGregor’s mold of being able to fill in defensive midfield or further up the pitch.
He captained Spurs’ Under-23 side and was a regular on the bench in the second half of last season.
He’s also played at left-back in the past – a big bonus for Celtic who need cover in that position.
But with Oliver Skipp back from injury and new arrivals expected in midfield, chances may be hard to come by.
And proving he can cut it under immense pressure at Celtic Park, and in the unforgiving physical environment of Scottish football, would be a big step for the youngster.