The Ecuadorian midfielder saw his proposed £2-million move to Manchester City fall through after a bid was rejected by his parent club, CD America. Fortunately a move to Europe might still be on the cards with Cifuentes having recently expressed interest in joining Celtic.
Jose Cifuentes played a starring role in Ecuador’s historic third-place finish in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, that saw them beat the likes of Italy, Uruguay, Mexico and the United States. Naturally, Cifuentes’ performances earned him admirers all over Europe and one such admirer is Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola. The Premier League champions looked all set to acquire the 20-year-old but that move did not come through after they could not reach an agreement with CD America over Cifuentes’ transfer fee.
Although recent comments from CD America president, Fidel Egas, have revealed that it was not only the transfer fee that led to the deal falling apart. Apparently Manchester City were ready to loan Cifuentes to a lower division club after signing him, something that his current employers did not agree with. But with less than 6 months left on his contract, Egas will be eager to find Cifuentes another club instead of losing him for free in the future.
While it must have been heart-breaking for Cifuentes to see his dream move fall through, fortunately for him, a transfer to Europe might still be on the cards. Celtic are reportedly interested in signing the all-action midfielder who they see as an understudy and potential future replacement for captain, Scott Brown.
Cifuentes has also made sure that Celtic know that the interest is mutual. Speaking to Football Scotland, the Ecuadorian said:
“It would be very interesting to play there, in the Scottish league. I imagine that they’re are a good team – and I want to be the protagonist in a lot of competitions.
“As for any contact [with Celtic] my agent is handling that. I understand that there is interest.
“I want to have the opportunity to leave for Europe. Celtic is a big club with everything that they play for. I had heard of the club before (the interest started).”
Signing Cifuentes could represent shrewd business for the club as he could be a mainstay in the Celtic midfield for years to come. Also with his contract running out this December, there is a good chance that he will be available at a bargain price.