'Awful': Celtic's reported summer target Cristiano Piccini slammed after Valencia bow

Celtic Manager, Brendan Rodgers applauds fans following the UEFA Champions League Qualifier between Celtic and AEK Athens at Celtic Park Stadium on August 8, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Scottish Premiership giants Celtic tried and failed to sign Sporting Lisbon right-back Cristiano Piccini before he joined La Liga outfit Valencia.

Sportings Italian defender Cristiano Piccini (L)) vies with Feirenses Ugandas defender Alex Kakuba during the Portuguese league football match between Sporting CP and CD Feirense at the...

Celtic could perhaps do with another option at right-back.

Mikael Lustig simply isn’t the all-action player he once was in his early 30s, Cristian Gamboa has never really convinced, Jack Hendry has struggled away from his natural centre-half position and Tony Ralston has not been seen for some time.

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So it is no wonder that Celtic wanted to sign the swashbuckling Cristiano Piccini in the summer.

The Mail stated that Brendan Rodgers had sent scouts to watch the 25-year-old Italian in action for Sporting Lisbon. Piccini, who moved to Portugal after an impressive spell in Spain with Real Betis, is a modern and attack-minded full-back who would have offered an immediate upgrade on any of the options currently at Celtic’s disposal.

Cristiano Piccini of Valencia CF during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and Atletico de Madrid at Mestalla Stadium on August 20, 2018 in Valencia, Spain.

But Celtic’s hopes were soon dashed. Piccini soon signed a deal with La Liga giants Valencia, who paid £7 million to bring him to the Mestalla.

The proven La Liga ace should prove to be an excellent value addition to Los Che’s squad –but it seems that he has work to do to win over his new supporters. Piccini was left exposed in Valencia’s 1-1 league opener against Atletico Madrid, playing Angel Correa onside for the opening goal.

Angel Martin Correa Martinez of Atletico de Madrid celebrates a goal during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Mestalla on August 20, 2018 in Valencia,...

The fans weren’t happy. And Celtic fans can take some comfort in knowing that, as good as Piccini is going forward, he is capable of a mistake at the other end.

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