‘Celtic best in Britain at managing transfer market,’ former Assistant Boss

ONE Celtic player that hasn’t really been mentioned yet regarding his future is Stuart Armstrong.

Last summer of his wonderful form in the Invincible season – he got his brilliant song, became a regular in the Scotland side and attracted interest from several Premier League sides before signing a one year contract extension to stay at Celtic.

The position last summer was that he had a year to go on his initial contract and that all means that he is back in exactly the same spot this time around, although he’s been on much bigger money for the last 12 months.

Celtic presumably will not want him to see out his contract and be a free agent next summer so it is going to have to be a a new contract or a new club for the man who scores the Belters.

Now Murdo MacLeod, the former Celtic midfielder and assistant manager to Wim Jansen, has given his views on Armstrong’s situation and he hopes that Peter Lawwell and Brendan Rodgers are ready to offer him a new contract to stay at Celtic.

“Clubs down south will be interested in some Celtic players. Stuart has come back into the team recently and has been terrific and finished the season really well.

“I think he has a year left on his contract, so no doubt teams will have a look at him and be watching his situation.

“I think Celtic have to keep hold of him and put a ‘not for sale’ sign on him,” MacLeod stated.

“I think there is more chance of English sides being interested in Celtic players now than maybe three of four years ago.

“If you look at the Celtic team they are all playing at a top level but sometimes money isn’t everything in football.

“You can be offered a lot of money to move down south, but if you are playing every week at Celtic Park in front of 60,000, enjoying your football, earning a decent wage and lifting trophies, why would you want to move?” he continued.

Armstrong though has a long term, stated ambition to play in the Premier League and may well feel that this is his chance.

“I don’t think there is a club in Britain that has managed the transfer market better than Celtic over the last four or five years,” Murdo continued.

“They have picked up players for next to nothing and then sold them for big money. Yes, it isn’t for as much as some English clubs who get £50m, but they have had big success.

“They have sold the likes of Fraser Forster, Virgil van Dijk and Victor Wanyama for large sums. The good thing that Peter has done at Celtic is to put the cost of players higher. He has knocked back English clubs with poor offers.

“I remember when they tried to get Wanyama for £3 million but they turned it down and then they got £12.5 million for him when he eventually left the club.

“Peter digs in his heels and you have to congratulate him for that. The English teams know when they speak to him they have to pay big money for his players.

“If you look around the squad they have, even if they did decide to sell a player, they wouldn’t be going cheap that’s for sure.

“I don’t see Celtic selling too many this summer though. I think there is a good atmosphere around the place and the players look happy at the club.

“The manager has always spoken about staying around to try and reach ten in a row. If he is hanging about then the players who have improved under him will maybe think to themselves ‘I will stay with him’.

“Look at how well Callum McGregor, Stuart, James Forrest and even Scott Brown have got better since Brendan has arrived.

“All of the players have lifted their level and if you think that is down to the manager, then you will want to stay around and try and get even better under him.”

Rodgers has been busy getting players like Tom Rogic signed up to long term deals to stay at the club. There hasn’t been the same urgency surrounding Stuart Armstrong who had a disappointing season due to injury.

Something may happen though but the longer nothing does the more likely it is that he will be sold if Celtic’s valuation is met.

Incidentally most of the sides linked with him last season were relegated or nearly relegated and all have changed managers.

Have you got one of these? Beautiful Sunday should be celebrated all summer long…

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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