Cristiano Piccini adds to Celtic's frustration by making Italy debut

Head coach Brendan Rodgers of Celtic looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League Group B match between FC Salzburg and Celtic at Red Bull Arena Wals-Siezenheim on October 4, 2018 in Salzburg,...

Celtic reportedly tried and failed to bring Cristiano Piccini to Glasgow but he swapped Sporting Lisbon for La Liga club Valencia instead.

Cristiano Piccini of Valencia CF with the ball during the La Liga match between Levante UD and Valencia CF at Ciutat de Valencia on September 2, 2018 in Valencia, Spain

A number of Celtic fans have been left ruing their failure to replace Mikael Lustig this summer.

The long-serving Swede has endured a very difficult start to the season, and his tally of below-par performances are quickly adding up, particularly in Europe. So Celtic’s inability to bring Cristiano Piccini to Glasgow now looks like a real missed opportunity.

According to the Daily Record, Piccini is the right-back Brendan Rodgers wanted to bring to Parkhead before the end of August.

 

But the 26-year-old joined Valencia instead for a £7 million deal from Sporting Lisbon. And Celtic fans were forced to watch on in frustration as the rampaging right-back impressed during Valencia’s goalless Champions League draw against Manchester United recently.

Piccini has endured a rather mixed start to life in La Liga but it seems that he has plenty of admirers. One of those is Roberto Mancini, who brought the former Real Betis flyer off the bench for his senior Italy debut during the 1-1 friendly clash against Ukraine on Wednesday.

Cristiano Piccini of Italy in action during the International Friendly match between Italy and Ukraine on October 10, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.

2018 has been something of a breakthrough year for Piccini, having helped Sporting reach the Europa League quarter-finals, sealing his big move to Valencia and making his international bow.

Celtic, however, are stuck with Lustig.

Cristiano Piccini of Valencia in action with Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United during the Group H match of the UEFA Champions League between Manchester United and Valencia at Old Trafford...

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