4 Celtic signing targets that got away

With the transfer window slamming shut last week, names linked with Celtic were flying around left, right and centre.

Some call it silly season, but there have been many players linked with Celtic around this time of the year that have materialised and have been success stories. The likes of Jota, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Giorgos Giakoumakis who all signed on deadline day back in 2021 proving this.

However, there are some signings that got away from Celtic. Some of them prove to be blessings in disguise but others will have had the Celtic recruitment department kicking themselves.

But who are the ones that got away for Celtic?

Erling Haaland

If you want to stop reading the article after finding out that Celtic could have signed Erling Haaland, that is completely understandable. It was reported back in 2018 by Norwegian outlet Aftenposten that not only Celtic but Hearts had sent scouts to observe Molde’s Europa League qualifier against Northern Irish side Glenavon. Haaland was only 17-years-old at the time.

Haaland at the time had also been linked with Manchester United after recommendation from then Molde manager and Red Devils legend Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

Molde did lose out on the day 2-1, and perhaps this is what deterred Celtic from making a move.

Fast forward to 2023 and Erling Haaland currently leads the line for Champions League winners Manchester City after breaking the record for the most goals in a single Premier League season in his first year in Manchester.

Moises Caicedo

The Ecuadorian centre-midfielder completed a Premier League record £113million move from Brighton to Chelsea this summer and that had this writer recalling a time when Celtic were linked with the then 18-year-old back in 2020 when he plied his trade for Independiente Del Valle back in his homeland.

Neil Lennon was recommended to sign the next big thing for just £1million, which the club ultimately passed up on. When you look at the player Celtic snubbed, instead opting to use funds to sign the likes of Vasilis Barkas and Albian Ajeti, it really does have you scratching your head.

Fikayo Tomori

Back in 2019, you may recall that a leaked list of Celtic transfer targets and notes from a recruitment meeting was leaked to the public, with the club’s moves for the summer transfer window on show for all to see.

The next two entries on this list are going to be from that same list, the first of those being Fikayo Tomori. After a successful loan spell at Derby County in the English Championship, Celtic wanted to swoop for Tomori’s signature.

However, the club opted to sign Christopher Jullien and Hatem Abd Elhamed that summer with Tomori becoming a standout player in a youthful Chelsea squad that was hit by a transfer embargo.

Now playing for AC Milan in Serie A, Tomori is a Serie A winner and is a world-class centre-back.

Reece James

The Chelsea right-back appeared on the same list as Tomori and he was on-loan at Wigan Athletic at the time. However, differently from his fellow Chelsea team-mate, James’ name was scribbled out and for an unknown reason.

Reece James is now one of the best right-backs on the planet and a Champions League winner with Chelsea. When you consider how long it took the Hoops to nail down a starting right-back, Celtic could definitely have used a player like him at that point in time.


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