20-year-old reportedly on the verge of switch to CL club after Celtic confirm interest
By Danny Wright
Celtic are set to miss out on Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts as he is poised to join Ligue 1 side Nice, according to a report.
French news outlet Nice Matin claimed on their website that Nice were hoping to get a deal completed for the 20-year-old ahead of Monday night when they had to register their squad for the Champions League.
However they have since missed the deadline.
Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers has already confirmed that he was hoping to strike up a deal with Man City which would have seen Roberts return to Parkhead after a successful 18-month loan stay in Glasgow.
The former Fulham attacker scored 17 goals and supplied 21 assists in 60 appearances across all competitions for Celtic and was part of a team that won two Scottish Premiership titles.
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However it seems that this latest report indicates Rodgers’ dream of a reunion is now fading away with him set to join Nice.
Celtic (evens) were even strong favourites with the bookies to sign Roberts from Man City a week ago, while Nice (33/1) were well down the running.
Football Insider Verdict
It appears that Celtic’s hopes of a romantic return for Roberts are all but over. It was always going to be hard for the Hoops to persuade him to return to Scotland, because the England youth international is destined to play for a top team in a top league in the future. Unfortunately it may be the strength of the Scottish Premiership that has swayed his decision. Nice defied the odds last term to get into the Champions League, and playing against the likes of Paris St. Germain, Monaco and Lyon will arguably help Roberts to secure a better move in the future. There’s no doubt that this is gutting for Rodgers, but with the team he has on his hands he still should be able to secure an unbeaten domestic treble for the second year on the bounce.