Celtic might be bracing themselves for another raid from the cash rich Premier League as reports suggest that Burnley are looking to sign a Celtic midfielder in January.
Celtic have impressed with their squad depth by qualifying for the Europa League knockout stage, the Scottish League Cup final and staying at the top of the Premiership table despite the number of injuries that they have been hit by this season. But that squad depth might be in some danger as The Scottish Sun reports that Burnley are looking to sign longtime midfielder, Nir Bitton, in the upcoming winter transfer window.
Bitton has been reduced to a bit-part player under Neil Lennon, who is used to fill in whenever there is a hole in the team. But regular first-team opportunities have been hard to come by for the Israeli midfielder. Even more so after the emergence of Jonny Hayes as the manager’s favourite utility man since Bitton’s injury earlier this season.
This could lead the midfielder to look for a change in scenery and the Premier League might be an enticing option. He will surely make more money in England than he is making currently in Glasgow. And considering his current position in the Celtic pecking order, there should not be a significant difference in game-time either.
The move also makes sense for Celtic as Bitton’s contract only runs till 2020. And they could be tempted to sell him and make some money instead of risking losing him for free next year. And as we already know, shelling out money is not a big issue for Premier League sides.
But will it be ideal to part with someone who can play as many roles as Bitton can in the middle of the season? The transfer fee being thrown around is just £1-million. That is not a significant sum of money in football these days. Especially not when we are chasing a record-equaling ninth league title in a row.
Bitton might not be a first-team regular. But he is an important part of the squad nonetheless. Keeping him makes more sense at this point of time than losing him just to avoid a loss on the £700,000 investment that the club made on him all those years ago. He has repaid that transfer fee multiple times over by now in his six years at the club.