Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic made an offer for Barcelona starlet Mika Marmol during the summer transfer window with Mundo Deportivo reporting that the defender is now a target for Borussia Dortmund.
Remember when Rangers tried to sign Lionel Messi? Alex McLeish certainly does.
“We asked about bringing Messi to Rangers on loan (in 2004),” the former Rangers boss admitted to the Daily Record, some five years before arguably the greatest footballer ever to walk the earth got his hands on the first of seven Ballon D’Or awards.
“And were told flatly; ‘No chance. Absolutely, no chance’.”
Who knows, perhaps Celtic supporters 15 years from now will look back on their attempts to sign another La Masia graduate and wonder what might have been.
How close did Celtic come to signing Barcelona’s Mika Marmol?
20-year-old Mika Marmol has a long way to go if he wants to match Messi’s achievements in the game. In truth, he probably never will.
But with Xavi Hernandez seeing Barcelona’s iconic academy as the building blocks for a new Catalan kingdom, the Spain U20 star could be joining Gavi, Nico Gonzalez, Ansu Fati and Abde Ezzalzouli in the Blaugrana first team before long.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Xavi is a big fan of Marmol.
A first-team debut could arrive sooner rather than later too given that Clement Lenglet and the injury-prone Samuel Umtiti are the only other left-footed centre-halves in Barcelona’s senior squad.
It is understood that La Liga rivals Sevilla and Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund have expressed an interest in Marmol recently. Celtic, meanwhile, made an approach of their own before September’s transfer deadline.
A ball-playing, technically-gifted centre-half who honed his impressive passing range in the feted La Masia academy, Marmol would have suited Postecoglou’s tactical blueprint down to the ground.
It is believed that Celtic will look to bring in a new defensive option in the New Year with John Hearts’ Souttar on their radar. Now that Xavi is in situ at the Camp Nou, however, the Mika Marmol ship appears to have sailed.