By Matt Farr
Celtic outcast Efe Ambrose is finally set to discover this week if he will be granted permission to join Blackburn on loan.
The 28-year-old agreed to move to the Championship club on loan until the end of the season on transfer deadline day, but has move had stalled as the two parties await confirmation he will be granted a work permit.
However, the Scottish Sun revealed on Monday that after nearly two weeks waiting for a breakthrough, a decision is finally set to be made this week.
That is no indication, however, that Ambrose will be allowed to join Blackburn; although that is the expected result.
Ambrose has fallen down the pecking order at Parkhead since the arrival of manager Brendan Rodgers back in the summer, and has not appeared for the club since the Champions League qualifier with FC Astana back in July.
The former Liverpool boss marked his arrival by bringing in veteran defender Kolo Toure, and the recent re-introduction of Dedryck Boyata to the first-team setup meant Ambrose was allowed to seek a move away from the club last month.
The Nigeria international has been training with Blackburn since the two clubs agreed a deal, but the deal will not go ahead until the English FA make a decision to allow his Scottish work permit to be used in England.
Blackburn boss Owen Coyle remains confident of seeing the protracted transfer saga come to an end with Ambrose finally pulling on the shirt at Ewood Park.
He told the Scottish Sun: “Efe has undertaken every training session since we signed the paperwork.
“He has played Champions League football so I think he has shown his quality already as a player and we are hopeful that the FA look through that and see it is a bona fide quality player.
“We are awaiting the final word on that.”
If the move goes ahead within the coming days, Ambrose could be in line to make his long-awaited debut for the club in their FA Cup fifth round clash with Manchester United on Sunday.
Football Insider verdict
For the sake of Ambrose, the English FA must allow this transfer to go ahead. The defender is not getting any first-team opportunities at Celtic this season, and his only chance now of playing regular football between now and the end of the season lies with Blackburn. The Championship side have shown great patience waiting for this deal to be confirmed by the FA, and will breathe a huge sigh of relief when (or if) the deal finally goes ahead. If he is forced to stay at Celtic, however, it won’t be too much of a concern for Celtic, because Rodgers will have another, albeit last resort, defensive option at his disposal. But they are keen to give him the first-team football he craves, and their initial agreement with Blackburn should allow him to do that.