The real intrigue, though, could end up centring on the potential for late bids for some of the Scottish champions’ prized assets. The claim this week that Celtic had rebuffed interest from four English Premier League sides in ‘not for sale’ striker Giorgos Giakmouakis comes on the back of Chelsea and Manchester United being linked with a move for Josip Juranovic. That followed reports Leicester City would target Matt O’Riley should they lose James Maddison to Newcastle United. Celtic captain Callum McGregor maintains it has been “fine” within the club amidst such chatter, but doesn’t simply bat it away. He does, though, suggest that with the players attracting attention only having joined within the past year, they are in no hurry to move on again.
“When the team is doing well there’s bound to be speculation. We’ve all been in football long enough to know it’s just speculation until something concrete happens,” he said. “Then you deal with it when it comes. We’ve got a really good environment here in the training ground and on the pitch. Everyone is super close and we’re all working hard together.Everyone is in good spirits and focused on the football we are playing. Until something concrete happens it’s not unsettling in the slightest. We’re just getting on with it.
“It’s a good place to be. There’s a lot of players who have just come into the club and they are just at the start of their journeys here in terms of what they want to achieve. We’ve got the Champions League, defending the league title – it’s an exciting time. I wouldn’t imagine anyone would be wanting to go anywhere too quickly.”