Celtic

By Danny Wright

Ligue 1 side Nice are out of the running to sign Celtic target Patrick Roberts from Manchester City, according to a reliable journalist.

Freelance reporter Robin Bairner, who specialises in French and Scottish football, claimed on his personal Twitter account on Monday night that the 20-year-old’s move to Nice will no longer materialise after they confirmed the signing of Allan Saint-Maximim from Monaco.

He added that this gives Celtic renewed hope in their bid to see Roberts return to Parkhead after he spent a successful 18-month loan spell with the Glaswegians.

Nice confirmed the major development of  Saint-Maximim signing on their official Twitter account on Monday.

French news outlet Nice Matin reported on Sunday that Roberts was poised to sign for Nice ahead of the Champions League squad deadline on Monday, however they have since landed Saint-Maximim, who plays in a very similar role to the Premier League attacker.

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The Mirror has also reported that Southampton are keen on the former Fulham winger, who is understood to have been made available for another loan spell away from the Etihad Stadium.

Roberts earned 60 total appearances during his temporary spell with Celtic, scoring 17 goals and supplying 21 assists as he helped the Scots win the Premiership twice, League Cup and Scottish Cup.

Football Insider Verdict

Celtic now appear to just have one sole competitor in the race for Roberts’ signature. However it is definitely become quite the ordeal for Brendan Rodgers to try and bring the 20-year-old back to Parkhead and the signing of Jonny Hayes suggested that it might not be happening. Roberts is a great player and could easily be playing regularly in the English Premier League by now, and Southampton could offer him that chance. It would be wise for him to perhaps go on loan to the south coast as they are a club that always offers young English players the chance to impress in the first-team. Although Celtic are in the Champions League, the strength of the league south of the border could be the major deciding factor.

In other Celtic news, assistant manager Chris Davies also discussed Roberts on Monday afternoon.

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