Celtic £30m summer signing blocked by PL giants - confirmed
By Harry Sykes
Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Celtic would have broken their transfer record to sign Patrick Roberts this summer – but Manchester City were prepared to block even a £30million deal.
Roberts, 20, rejoined the Scottish champions on a season-long loan last week, ending a summer-long saga of whether or not he would return to the club following a successful 18-month spell that ended in June.
Manager Rodgers admits he wanted to make the move a permanent one and was prepared to set a new club record for transfer fee paid, which currently stands at £6million for both Chris Sutton and John Hartson.
However, cash-rich City were not willing to play ball, even though they have a galaxy of attacking midfielders at the disposal of Pep Guardiola and some big-name signings this summer pushed Roberts even further down the pecking order.
“We would have broken our transfer record for Patrick,” said Rodgers, as quoted by the Mail.
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“We wanted to find the deal that would get him back here. But he’s a Manchester City player. We could have offered them £30m and they would have said no.
“They didn’t want to sell. So the best option was to get him back on loan.”
England Under-20 international Roberts won the domestic treble under Rodgers last season and the influence of the manager played a part in him turning down offers from the Premier League amid reported interest from Southampton and Huddersfield.
He was in dazzling form in 2016-17, scoring 11 goals and providing 19 assists from 47 appearances in all competitions.
In other Celtic transfer news, Rangers would storm to the SPL title if they had been successful in their deadline-day pursuit of a £45,000-a-week striker.