By Richard Parks
Portugese club Vitoria Guimaraes have hijacked Celtic’s bid to sign Odsonne Edoaurd from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, according to a report.
The Mail on Sunday claim the eighth-placed Primera Liga side are keen to scupper the Glasgow giants’ attempts to convert the striker’s season-long loan into a full-time transfer at the end of the season.
It is said that Celtic agreed a fee for the 20-year-old, who stands at 6ft 1in tall, as part of the deal that took him to Parkhead.
The Mail report that PSG sporting director Antero Henrique has been in negotiating with the hierarchy at Vitoria with a view to establishing a satellite home for the club’s younger players, with further talks taking place in midweek after they placed Edouard top of their wishlist.
Manager Brendan Rodgers explained that there are a number of factors involved as to whether Celtic will activate their option on a player he rates highly.
“‘There’s no question for me,’ said Rodgers. ‘He’s a player you always want. A boy at that age, with those qualities, he’s only going to get better.
“But we have to respect his club – he’s a signed player for PSG. They might have other plans, so it’s something that we’ll speak to them about. There’s an option there, but there’s other bits around it which will need clarifying. But it’s a deal that is doable.”
Edouard has scored eight goals in 25 Celtic appearances this season, including the winner in the memorable 3-2 win over Rangers last week.
“He is the most natural of all our strikers in how he moves,” observed the Celtic manager, as quoted by the Herald, of the 6ft 1in front man. “His movement is phenomenal for a young player. He does things on the training ground that amaze me, really.”
Football Insider verdict:
Edouard is clearly a young striker that Rodgers rates highly, but you sense that the numbers would have to stack up for Celtic to sign him permanently, given that there is growing interest from rivals, and PSG could use him as a negotiating tool in a deal with Vitoria. A potential activation fee of £7million is a lot for a player who has spent most of the campaign as third-choice forward at Parkhead, despite his great promise. Is he a genuine talent? Yes. Will he get better? Certainly. He is only 20 and his pedigree has been evident in the second half of the season, most especially with that beautifully-taken winner at Ibrox. If Moussa Dembele is sold, expect Celtic to press the button on signing Edouard. But there appears to be a fair bit of negotiating to do, first.
In other Celtic news, it has been revealed today that the Scottish champions have launched a bid to sign the a brilliant English Championship player who is out of contract this summer.