One of the most bizarre dramas to play out at the end of the summer transfer window was that of Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic.
For awhile it appeared Celtic were going to get £3 million for injured defender Jozo Simunovic — a steal for a player who hadn’t really established his place in the Celtic squad. A medical was passed in Torino and a move was all set to go down.
However, last-minute Tornio medical staff reservations changed the deal and basically the Serie A squad wanted a loan deal that would trigger a £3 million payment eventually. Celtic said no, and within a month Simunovic was a stalwart in the Bhoys back line after gaining full fitness.
Apparently Tornio have taken notice and with big-monied owners in place are looking to make another run at a Simunovic transfer. No really…they aren’t going to leave this one alone:
But the big-spending Turin side have pledged to return for the 22-year-old in January. And they have paved the way for it by agreeing to sell Bovo to struggling Pescara, who are involved in a Serie A relegation battle.
Celtic would be wise to crank up the transfer fee and test the waters, but unless this move is going to break the bank it really isn’t a wise move to be made. There really isn’t a lot of quality cover in central defense just yet.
Kolo Toure has fallen off in performance and in trust from manager Brendan Rodgers. Efe Ambrose hasn’t sniffed the first team in months and neither has the young Eoghan O’Connell. About the only option would be Dedryck Boyata, who has not exactly been a rock at the back this season either, but has been improving over time.
Celtic clearly have needs of their own in the January transfer window. Those needs likely include some cover at central defense and some moves to shore up the midfield ahead of a run towards the Champions League next season.
Offloading one of the best players you’ve got for a nominal fee makes no sense.
It all just goes to show how timing is everything. No one would’ve been upset with £3 million for Simunovic at the end of August, but just four months later and he has become a vital piece to the puzzle and worth far more than the £3 million that was offered.
Let the crazy season of rumors and wheeling and dealing begin…let’s just hope it doesn’t include Simunovic’s transfer without breaking Torino’s bank.