Celtic have now pulled a U-turn over the future of Rocco Vata in Glasgow, amid Torino and Club Brugge targeting the late-window transfer of the young winger this summer.
That is according to Sky Sports, which reports that it is seeming ‘increasingly likely’ that Vata leaves Celtic for good. The 18-year-old is in the last year of his contract with the Premiership giants. But the Bhoys have no desires to extend the attacker’s deal or see him leave on loan.
Vata has been at Celtic since the age of seven and has spent his entire career so far with the club. The Hoops also handed the son of Rudi Vata his first professional contract in July 2021 after turning 16. Brendan Rodgers also promoted the winger into his first-team this summer.
Yet despite Rodgers officially naming Vata as a first-team player, the Celtic management has pulled a U-turn over his future. Hoops chiefs no longer believe he has a future with the club. So, the winger is now weighing up his options with a raft of sides monitoring developments.
Torino have long desired a deal to sign Vata from Celtic during the current transfer window. The Serie A side have even also stepped up their pursuit this month. But Belgian giants Club Brugge have now firmly entered the race and are tracking the youngster’s situation closely.
Vata had appeared set to earn his chance to become a first-team player at Celtic in 2023/24 after Rodgers brought the forward up from their academy for pre-season. The Daily Record even claimed earlier this week that the Bhoys were still hopeful of keeping Vata in Glasgow.
Yet Celtic have now pulled a U-turn and want to cash in on the interest in Vata’s transfer this summer. They are loath to leave themselves at risk of him leaving for training compensation in 2024. The Daily Record also adds that the Hoops have demoted him back to their B-team.
Torino and Club Brugge, now coached by former Celtic manager Ronny Deila, could come to the Hoops’ rescue. But any transfer may be disappointing for a young prospect whom Bhoys captain Callum McGregor felt it was ‘great’ to see scoring regularly with their reserve squad.
Brendan Rodgers’ firm answers to Podence and Fraser links
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has firmly dismissed speculation linking the club with moves for Premier League wingers Daniel Podence of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Ryan Fraser of Newcastle United.
In recent weeks, rumours have circulated suggesting that Celtic are in the market for a left-winger, with Podence and Fraser touted as potential targets.
During a press conference, Clyde 1’s Andrew McClean pressed Rodgers on the speculation surrounding Podence, asking, “There’s been speculation surrounding Daniel Podence at Wolves, is there anything to bring us up to speed on that?” Rodgers offered a definitive response, stating simply, “No.” When McClean sought further clarification, asking, “Nothing at all?” the Celtic boss reiterated, “None at all.” [Celtic TV]
The reporter then shifted the focus to the Ryan Fraser links, asking, “Ryan Fraser at Newcastle, he’s another one,” to which Rodgers repeated himself, saying, “None at all.”
These firm denials from Rodgers appear to put to rest the rumours that have been swirling around Celtic’s supposed interest in the two Premier League players.
Both Podence and Fraser have found themselves out of favour at their respective clubs, fueling speculation about potential moves before the transfer window closes.
Celtic have been active in the transfer market under Rodgers, but it seems that, at least for now, the club is not pursuing either of these wingers as they prepare for a busy schedule of domestic and European fixtures.
Rodgers’ straightforward and unequivocal responses indicate a desire to quash these rumours and maintain focus on the players currently in his squad as Celtic aims to build on a strong start to the season.