By Will Butcher
Celtic are willing to pay Manchester City a £500,000 loan fee in order to keep Patrick Roberts on Parkhead for another season, according to a report.
The Sun claim Celtic want the 20-year-old to stay in Glasgow, in what would be his third season with the 48-time Scottish champions after already spending 18 months north of the border.
However, the move could cause a fracas between Rodgers and City boss Guardiola, as the Spaniard wants Roberts to join City on their pre-season tour of America.
Roberts first moved to the Bhoys in January 2016, before spending the whole 2016-17 season on loan with Brendan Rodgers’ side which has seen him win two Scottish Premiership titles.
The former Fulham star has shone this season under the guidance of former Liverpool boss Rodgers, producing a huge 17 assists in his 42 league and cup appearances for the Hoops.
Roberts proved his worth once again on Saturday during his side’s 4-1 win over St. Johnstone, finding the back of the net twice to take his goalscoring tally to nine and four in his last six.
Former Liverpool manager Rodgers has previously stated that he wants to keep Roberts, as the England youth international continues to put Celtic’s domestic rivals to the sword.
With a contract at Man City until the summer of the summer of 2020, a permanent move for Roberts seems out of the question as his transfer value is likely to prove too expensive.
However, a loan move could prove beneficial to all parties involved, if Roberts is indeed keen to continue his stint in Scotland.
Football Insider verdict:
Celtic must do all they can, and at whatever cost, to keep Roberts at Celtic Park ahead of the 2017-18 season. The fleet-footed youngster has proved to be one of England’s best up-and-coming talents this season, and with a Champions League campaign on the horizon, his creation and incision in front of goal could prove crucial in Celtic looking to climb out of the Champions League group stages into the knockout phase. A move could see City, Celtic and Roberts gain an advantage, too. Roberts would continue developing with first-team football, while Celtic would benefit by keeping one of their best players. Guardiola’s side would also finally receive a player full of confidence and in his prime, when they finally look to include him in the first team.
In other Celtic transfer news, Rodgers has also commented on this £8million-rated striker after being reportedly interested in his services.