Celtic have spent almost the entirety of the summer transfer window desperately attempting to convince Manchester City to send Patrick Roberts back to Parkhead.
And, according to the Daily Record, they are close to succeeding. The report claims Celtic will announce the re-signing of Roberts, who spent a trophy laden 18 months at the club on loan from City, on a season-long deal that will cost up to £3 million in wages and fees.
This is a huge coup for Celtic, particularly as the Sunday Post reported that City did not want Roberts to return to Glasgow this summer. They felt his development would be better aided by a move to a more high-profile, competitive league with Southampton and Ligue 1 high-flyers Nice both interested.
Yet, if Roberts maintains the progression that saw him develop hugely under Brendan Rodgers north of the border, there is a very real chance that the 20-year-old could return to City in a year’s time ready to fight the likes of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane for a place in the first team.
You could even argue that the next 12 months are make or break for Roberts’ City career. And the same could be said for fellow City winger Aaron Nemane.
Following Celtic's lead?
According to the Daily Record (23 Aug live blog, 12.44pm), the 19-year-old Frenchman is set to join Celtic’s Old Firm rivals Rangers on a loan deal till January. He is expected to play in the development squad but, if he impresses, don’t rule out manager Pedro Caixinha giving him a first-team chance.
Nemane currently has just one year remaining on his contract at City so you get the feeling that he is under huge pressure to impress at Ibrox in order to earn a new deal.
Yet, with City willing to ship out their most highly-rated youngsters, it makes perfect sense for Rangers to follow Celtic’s lead. Roberts grew beyond all expectation thanks to exposure to more regular football and, if given the chance to shine in the senior squad, Nemane could do the same.
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