Player tells club he wants to quit and join Celtic today - report
By Harry Sykes
Patrtick Roberts has told Manchester City he wants to quit the club and join Celtic on loan, according to a report.
The Daily Record claim the Scottish champions have been given a major boost in their bid to sign the winger in time for him to play in Wednesday’s first-leg Champions League qualification clash against FC Astana.
It is said that Roberts, 20, has his heart set on joining the Hoops and has informed City chiefs of his desire to return to Parkhead for a second spell after a successful 18-month loan.
The Record report that City would prefer to loan the wide man to another Premier League club, amid interest from Southampton.
But the player is adamant that he returns to Celtic and has made that clear in conversations with Etihad Stadium top brass.
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The treble winners are now sweating on a decision in the next 24 hours from City as they aim to have Roberts in the squad before tomorrow’s (Tuesday) deadline for adding a player to the squad for both legs of the Champions League qualification round.
The tie will be pivotal to Celtic’s season as they aim to secure a place in the lucrative group stages of Europe’s leading competition for a second consecutive campaign.
Roberts future at City is up in the air even though he is contracted to the club until 2020.
He finished an 18-month loan at Celtic in June and even played against his parent club in the Champions League group stages last season.
The England Under-20 international ended the 2016-17 in outstanding form, with his haul of 11 goals and 19 assists from 43 league and cup appearances enough to catch the eyes of clubs all around Europe.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted he would love to sign Roberts on a permanent deal and there were reports at the weekend that the deal could be completed by Monday night.
“Pat would be amazing for here,” Rodgers said of signing Roberts earlier this month. “I think everyone could see that.
“But it all goes down to, one, Manchester City and how they see his future there. He has gone away on tour with them and got some game time. They will make a decision after that.”
In other Celtic transfer news, Football Insider has revealed the Hoops are in the hunt to sign a dazzling attacking midfielder as late window interest to reach fever pitch.