CELTIC manager Ronny Deila believes John Guidetti is prepared to give up the possibility of more lucrative employment elsewhere in order to sign a permanent deal with the Scottish champions.
The Manchester City striker is making a huge impact so far during his season-long loan deal at Celtic, taking his tally to eight goals in eight appearances for the club with his hat-trick in Wednesday night’s 6-0 League Cup quarter-final victory over Partick Thistle.
Guidetti’s contract at City expires next summer and he is free to open discussions with other interested clubs in January.
The Swedish international’s current exploits for Celtic are sure to attract the attention of other suitors, while it is also possible he could yet be offered a new contract by English champions City.
But while Celtic will not be able to offer Guidetti the same level of salary he may command south of the border, Deila is optimistic the 22-year-old will place greater value on the professional development and personal contentment he has discovered in Glasgow.
“Money is always a key factor,” said Deila with a smile. “So we’ll see what happens, but everyone has to know we really want John to stay. I’ve talked with him and he loves being here. He loves the club and we need to do everything we can now to make his move a permanent one.
“John has to fit into our economy at Celtic and I think that’s possible. He loves football. Money is important, but that comes because of good performances. If this was the other way round, it would never happen. The best players always think about football development first, then the money comes as a consequence.
“I’ve seen it the other way around many times before and the careers of those players finish very quick. You can see the people that really want to learn and develop, you can see it in their attitude. Those are the kind of players we want at Celtic.
“It’s important John is performing well here and feels loved and wanted. To play at Celtic when that happens, you can’t be in a better place. I’ve said to John he needs stability to play.
“It’s important to know that, if you take away the money, Celtic is still one of the biggest clubs in the world. If you come here, you have everything. You have the stadium, supporters, fantastic training pitches, good staff, history and you have European football. Here you have what you need to get to your potential.
“Talks with John are going on all the time. He had been injured for a long time before he came here and there was a question mark over that. But now things are going well and we hope we can keep him here. It is perfect for the club and the way we want to play.
“Manchester City cannot sell him to another club in January because we have loaned him for the season. So I don’t think that is possible. We have a good relationship with City and talk to them a lot.
“It has to happen between John’s agent and the club but we have good contact with the agent as well. John is a very good football player and has started very well for us. He has a lot of potential and still has a long way to go.
“He is enjoying every minute here and he is wanted here. He is also loved here. It’s also important that he is not just giving something to us, but we are giving something to him.
“I think he sees that he is performing well now because the team are performing too. Those things are important when young players are picking the next stage of their career and the next club.”
Guidetti has already expressed his supreme confidence about the outcome of the League Cup semi-final, regardless of whether Rangers, Aberdeen or Dundee United are paired with Celtic in tomorrow evening’s last four draw, claiming the opposition are “going down”.
Deila was more circumspect when asked about the prospect of facing his first Old Firm fixture as Celtic manager but shares Guidetti’s belief his team should prevail. The domestic treble remains Deila’s big ambition for his first season in the job, whether or not Rangers are one of the obstacles in his way.
“If we win the treble, the history books will show that we won the treble – not that we beat Rangers,” added Deila. “So you have to see a bigger picture than that. The treble is tough. It is tough to keep on going in three competitions. You have the Europa League as well. So you are playing matches all the time.
“I’ve never been to an Old Firm game, I’ve only seen it on television. I also spoke to Vidar Riseth about it from his time at Celtic, so I know everything about it.
“We should be the best team in Scotland, that’s what we want, that is our ambition. But, especially in the cup, anything can happen. I understand there are a lot of emotions around an Old Firm game. But it’s about winning trophies, that’s what we want. Whoever we meet in the semi-final, we have to go and make a good performance and we know we can beat everybody.
“If a game against Rangers happens, of course it is a fantastic thing. It’s something Glasgow has that is huge and fun and good and I look forward to that.”