Celtic reportedly want to sign Jordon Ibe – and Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe insists he has a ‘long way back’ at the Premier League outfit.
Eddie Howe has admitted that reported Celtic target Jordon Ibe is unlikely to have a future at Bournemouth, telling the Glasgow Times that he is a long way down the pecking order on the South Coast.
A player The Cherries once invested £15 million in is set to see his £40,000-a-week contract expire in July. And it speaks volumes about how far Ibe has fallen at the Vitality Stadium that there are no suggestions that he will be offered fresh terms.
A winger once described as ‘sensational’ by his former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has failed to build on the potential that saw him outshine Raheem Sterling at Anfield – for a brief period at least.
Ibe has played just 47 minutes of Premier League football this season and has only been included in the matchday squad for one of Bournemouth’s last 22 top-flight matches.
According to the Sun, Celtic could offer Ibe a fresh start when he becomes a free agent and it seems unlikely that Howe would stand in their way.
“I’d be foolish if I sat here and said ‘no, he’s played his last game’, and then he ended up playing again,” Howe said. “I never shut the door on anybody until they’ve left the club, I don’t think that’s the way to be, but certainly he’s got a long way back from here.
“I have no doubt about his quality and playing characteristics, but certainly there needs to be a change in Jordon’s life for him to reach the level that he can.”
Could Neil Lennon be the right man at the right time to salvage Ibe’s ailing career?
The Celtic boss has introduced a thrilling, direct style of football since replacing Brendan Rodgers at Parkhead with wingers Moi Elyounoussi, James Forrest and Mikey Johnstone shining this season.
And the recent switch to a 3-5-2 system could suit Ibe down to the ground, particularly as some of his most impressive displays in Liverpool colours came in a wing-back role under Rodgers.