Alan Hutton believes that Celtic could pull off a bargain by taking advantage of Alfie Doughty’s contract situation at Charlton.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Scotland defender suggests that the Bhoys could bide their time after their initial offer for the winger was rejected by the London club.
As quoted by the South London Press, Charlton manager Lee Bowyer confirmed that the League One side had turned down a bid from the Glasgow giants and that the Hoops were in attendance at the League Cup win over Swindon Town.
The 20-year-old, who is a graduate of the Addicks’ youth system, has a year left on his contract at the Valley after the club triggered an extension clause back in February.
Cross-border rules mean that Celtic will be able to approach the left-sided starlet on a pre-contract deal and pay Charlton a nominal compensation fee compared to what another English side would have to pay.
Hutton believes that, with all the uncertainty surrounding transfers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bhoys are looking to capitalise on Doughty’s contract situation and snap up a bargain.
Hutton told Football Insider: “It just really works at the moment. There’s a lot of players that seem to be approaching the last year of their contracts and if you’re young and can go across the border, it doesn’t really cost you much.
“They are taking advantage of it, we all know it’s uncertain times and the transfer fees are all over the place, we don’t know who’s got what to spend.
“It doesn’t surprise me teams are going to take advantage of this, I wouldn’t say a loophole, but it’s definitely something that saves teams a lot of money for very good players.”
Doughty has played a total of 33 times for Charlton’s senior side after his breakthrough from the youth ranks at The Valley.
A versatile winger, the young prospect has also played in central midfield and at left-back.
In other Celtic news, one Hoops star has been tipped to “ruffle feathers” after a big transfer development.