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The Three Key Factors As European Giants Line Up Celtic Wonderkid

It’s been reported over the last couple of days that the likes of AC Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are all keen on signing Celtic’s 17 year-old attacking midfielder Rocco Vata, who came on to make his debut against Hibs at Easter Road the other night.

He was also linked with Arsenal and Roma in the summer, with the very low fee of only £2m mentioned as Celtic’s asking price, which is a load of nonsense in all honesty. That was just another attempt at devaluing Celtic’s players, something the media love to do.

But, as the January window opens in just 48hrs time, there are three key factors to consider when examining these rumours of Vata leaving to join one of Europe’s elite clubs.

Factor 1

Unlike Ben Doak, who left us for Liverpool for a mere £600,000 development fee as he had refused to sign a pro-contract with us, we already have Vata tied down to a professional contract, which means clubs have to pay what we ask of them if they want to secure the services of one of Europe’s hottest young footballing talents.

A £2m offer as I mentioned was previously reported, simply won’t cut it.

Factor 2

So, this is the slightly tricky part, potentially.

Although Vata is tied down to a pro-contract with Celtic, which is much better than him not being, the contract he signed, for whatever reason, was only a 3 year deal signed in the summer of 2021, which means his contract expires with us in summer 2024.

I don’t know why it’s only 3 years, I haven’t been able to find any rules in place about the length of contract you can offer players at that, but In searching, I did see that they were reviewing this in 2020, so it may have changed and that may be the reason, or if not that’s just what they had agreed to.

The worrying thing is though, a year and a half is not very long left at all, and whereas it is still unlikely we would let him go for £2m quoted, it does decrease the chance of us getting a big fee for the player, should he indeed be sold.

I’m hoping that Celtic have the option of a further year or two which just hasn’t been announced, that would come as a big relief, but if not, I think we should be looking to offer him a new deal ASAP.

Factor 3

Ultimately, it depends on what the player wants to do and if he wants to continue his career at Celtic or whether he wants to move on as the money and bright lights of a Bayern Munich or an AC Milan is too much to turn down for him.

While it’s good for Celtic to have him under contract, there is nothing stopping him from seeing out his remaining year and a half with us and then leaving at the end of his deal and having his choice of big clubs to join.

Also, he could make it clear that his intention is to leave if another club gets in his ear during the window, and that would potentially force Celtic’s hand at selling now to get maximum profit on the player.

I’m sure like all Celtic supporters, I’m sick to death of us losing our best young talents before we have even been able to enjoy them playing in the first team and contributing to our success.

I really hope we can keep hold of Vata and the others in the youth ranks with similar potential.

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