COMMENT By Richard Parks
Leeds United must take advantage of Tom Rogic’s contract stalemate at Celtic and secure the shrewdest signing of the summer.
Rogic, 25, has a deal with the Scottish champions that expires in the summer of 2019 and his future is shrouded in doubt amid reports he has rejected an extension and is ready to quit.
Widespread reports in Scotland and the player’s native Australia, including in The World Game, claim Rogic has turned down one offer of a new contract and is willing to bide his time, probably until after the World Cup, before committing to an extension.
Leeds must seize the the opportunity to secure what would a super-smart business of transfer business.
Intriguingly, the Championship giants tried to sign Rogic, 25, in 2016 before he penned the contract in August of that year that keeps him at Parkhead for a further 14 months.
The attacking midfielder, who World Game report is valued at £3.4million, is a genuine matchwinner and gamechanger who would be a great addition to a mediocre squad.
They have a couple of technically gifted maestros in Samuel Saiz and Pablo Hernandez, but are lacking in attacking midfielders who can carry the ball long distances and create and score goals.
Rogic is adept at both, scoring 29 goals and supplying 22 assists from 127 Celtic appearances since joining the club in 2014.
He has struggled with injuries this season but demonstrated his calibre with brilliant goals in marquee matches and has scored seven goals and supplied eight assists from 36 appearances in all competitions in 2017-18.
Predominantly left-footed, he can dribble, has the vision to pick a pass and can finish from a range of distances.
He is also used to the demands of playing at a big club where expectations are high and there is pressure to deliver in every game.
It is a measure of his calibre that Celtic fans are desperate for him to commit to a new contract.
If the reports from Australia are true Rogic could now be heading for the Parkhead exit door in the summer window as he looks to put himself in the shop window with a stellar World Cup.
Leeds must not wait that long. They should look to seal a deal before the global showpiece, at a time when Rogic’s price remains within manageable proportions for the cash-conscious Championship outfit.
He has star quality and could be the bargain signing of the summer.