How Celtic completed radical overhaul on deadline-day as Rangers stayed quiet and kept their main men

Celtic completed a radical summer overhaul of their first-team squad with a flurry of arrivals and departures on transfer deadline day which was headlined by the £14 million sale of Odsonne Edouard to Crystal Palace.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 30: Celtic's Odsonne Edouard (right) celebrates his goal with Ryan Christie during a Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Dundee United at Celtic Park, on December 30, 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

As Ryan Christie also headed south with a move to Bournemouth and Leigh Griffiths joined Dundee on a season-long loan, Celtic reinforced manager Ange Postecoglou’s squad with the signings of Greek international striker Giorgos Giakoumakis, Portuguese winger Jota and a last-gasp loan deal for Tottenham defender Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Giakoumakis, top scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie last season with 26 goals for relegated VVV Venlo, has signed a five-year deal with Celtic paying a fee of £2.5 million. Jota has joined on loan from Benfica with Celtic having the option to buy the 22-year-old for around £5 million next summer. Carter-Vickers, a 23-year-old American centre-half, joined just before the window closed.

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It was a less frenetic deadline day for Rangers who, as midnight approached, looked to have retained all the key members of Steven Gerrard’s first team squad despite constant speculation of a major sale.

The Scottish champions did send two players out on loan to secure more regular game time with defender Nikola Katic joining Hajduk Split and striker Cedric Itten going to Bundesliga side Greuther Furth. Rangers have retained the option to recall both players in January.

Across the city, Celtic made it 12 new signings since the summer window opened with Giakoumakis, Jota and Carter-Vickers adding to the earlier recruitment of Liam Shaw, Osaze Urhoghide, Liel Abada, Kyogo Furuhashi, Carl Starfelt, Joe Hart, James McCarthy, Josip Juranovic and Liam Scales.

The sense of a changing of the guard under Postecoglou is underlined by the departures of Edouard and Christie who follow former captain Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, Jack Hendry, Vakoun Bayo, Kristoffer Ajer, Marian Shved and Leo Hjelde in leaving the club since the end of last season.

The Celtic career of Griffiths is also effectively over as the 31-year-old will now spend the final year of his contract, which was activated in the summer, at Dundee.

French striker Edouard agreed a four-year contract with Crystal Palace where he will play under the management of his compatriot Patrick Vieira.

“I’m very happy to be here today,” said Edouard. “I can’t [wait] to start to train with the team and to play for this club. Scoring goals in the Premier League may be the biggest challenge in my career. But I’m confident in myself and my teammates to be successful.”

Scotland international playmaker Christie agreed a three-year deal with English Championship outfit Bournemouth.

Celtic will hope Giakoumakis can fill the scoring void left by Edouard and the 26-year-old expressed confidence he will be ideally suited to the brand of football Postecoglou is looking to implement.

“The manager’s attacking style of play is perfect for me,” said Giakoumakis. “I can’t wait to come, to meet the fans and start something really good together.

“It’s really amazing, I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to wearing this strip with pride. Celtic have always been a team I’ve liked and I’ve watched many games in the past.

“The amazing atmosphere in the stadium is something else and I’m delighted to be here and to help write history together.

“I’m already hearing the stadium celebrating my first goal in my head. I’m really looking forward to scoring my first goal with our fans and celebrating together.”

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