Neil Lennon has swooped in to rubbish the Celtic transfer rumour which has picked up some steam over the past week or so.
With transfer business picking up at Parkhead over the last few weeks, there have been rumours that Gambian defender Omar Colley, currently at Sampdoria, has been in Celtic’s sights. If there is any truth in this beyond harmless initial enquiries then it’s going to be a record breaker or very close.
The rumours already indicated the defender wouldn’t come cheap. Latest news as reported by the Daily Record supports that. They report that the talk in Italy is of €9 million+ as a minimum. That’s no great surprise with Colley making 32 appearances for Serie A’s Sampdoria last season. You soon get found out if you can’t defend in Italy and the player has a great record so far.
Reference is also made to the Sampdoria owner Massimo Ferraro making it clear there are no bargains to be had and he’d certainly not be giving the player away cheaply.
Whether Celtic have actually made any serious approaches for the player is questionable. In media interviews last week Neil Lennon was unable to confirm when asked if a bid had been made. In fact he went a step further:
“I can deny it, yeah. I’m not aware of that at all.”
Though in the hide and seek mystery of a transfer window that could be a very literal denial of a bid. Not quite the same as interested, enquiring, watching or anything else that means Celtic are indeed looking at the player.
Colley seems to be a top player, there is no reason why Celtic shouldn’t look to recruit at this level and price. It’s only a small step up from buying Christopher Jullien last summer.
But it still feels very unlikely. Chris Sutton talked about the need to keep players and deepens the squad to ensure success. If Ajer stays then there should be quality strength in depth already for centre half. Hatem Abd Elhamed and Nir Bitton giving further cover.
So signing Colley, who would have to be coming as a first pick, seems very unlikely. Unless you were factoring in Ajer moving out for a bumper price and allowing around half of his fee for reinvestment.
The heart says interesting, could be a superb move. The head says very unlikely.