Guardiola pulls plug after Celtic agree terms of £8m transfer - report
By Aramide Oladipo
Celtic had agreed a permanent deal with Manchester City for attacking midfielder Patrick Roberts before City boss Pep Guardiola opted against the move, according to a report.
The Scottish Sun claims that the SPL champions had reached an agreement with the Premier League side to break their transfer record and splash £8million for the 20-year-old this summer.
The newspaper reports that the winger had informed the Manchester club that he was keen on a move back to Scotland and although Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers was confident of securing a permanent deal, Guardiola pulled the plug on the transfer and preferred Roberts to be sent out on loan.
The youngster completed a loan deal with the Hoops in August and Celtic still reportedly paid a seven-figure fee alongside contributing to the player’s huge wages.
The report claims that the Celtic board are hopeful that they can agree a permanent deal with City for Roberts at the end of this season.
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The winger will embark on his third loan spell at Celtic Park having enjoyed great success with the club for the past two consecutive seasons.
The Englishman played an important role in helping the Hoops secure back-to-back league titles and complete a historic domestic treble last season.
Roberts’ current contract at the Etihad Stadium runs out in 2020.
Football Insider verdict
Guardiola clearly believes that Roberts has the potential to become a fine City player in the near-future with his decision to deny his permanent deal to Celtic Park. However, it must have been frustrating for the Hoops after a deal had reportedly been agreed but they will be relieved that they are able to rely on his services this season. With City splashing the cash this summer and incorporating more attacking talent to the squad, it is a surprise that Guardiola felt compelled to pull the plug on the Roberts deal as it seems highly unlikely that the winger will be a first-team regular at the Etihad Stadium in the upcoming years.