High earners Jullien and Ajeti might frustrate Ange’s transfer plans | OneFootball

High earners Jullien and Ajeti might frustrate Ange’s transfer plans

Logo: The Celtic Star

The Celtic Star

Chris Jullien and Albian Ajeti might prevent Ange from getting everything he wants this summer….

Christopher Jullien during the Celtic FC away kit launch at Celtic Park (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

When it comes to transfers in football, it’s always a two-way street. One party has their own views on the state of play, and the other party may perhaps have a differing view on things. I am thinking of course when I say this, of our need to shift those who are persona non grata under Ange Postecoglou and Celtic moving forward.

Over the past few days, one of our big earners, Chris Jullien, has been heading for the exit door via Schalke in Germany. He passed the assidious medical examination on top of their own fitness test to determine whether or not he had fully recovered from the ligament damage sustained against Dundee United back on Boxing Day 2020. Progress was made, all was given the green light to proceed to personal terms and then Jullien’s camp rebuffed the North Rhine-Westphalia side.

Quite the pickle.

Christopher Jullien of Celtic celebrates with the Betfred Cup after victory over theRangers at Hampden on 8 December, 2019. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Jullien is on a very handsome salary at Celtic Park – that much is clear. We can all ponder and guesstimate just how much, but it is merely conjecture at this point. All we know is that he is getting a hefty cheque every week. Now, for a selling club, this is a very serious problem. For a club like Celtic, we must trim the fat always to risk the wage budget becoming bloated and eventually stagnant. Chris was once integral to everything that we done, now he has been politely shown the exit door; although his childish antics have not helped his situation one single bit.

Photo: imago/BuzziAndriy Shevchenko (Milan, Dianbobo Balde (Celtic )

But now we are in the position of having a player that isn’t wanted by our current manager, but that no-one else will pay the kind of wages he is looking for. That means we may have the nightmare scenario of Chris doing a Bobo Balde and sitting out the remainder of his contract, whilst on exorbitant money. This is something that could prove to be costly for Ange and the support when it comes to getting his top targets through the door as early as he planned.

Albian Ajeti during the Premiership match at Livingston.: Photo Andrew Milligan

Albian Ajeti is another who it is claimed had a rather substantial agreement with the club when he first signed in the summer of 2020 under Neil Lennon. It was proved last season that Albian is not the man to rely on in an Ange Postecoglou system, having been unable to occupy that singular striker role as effectively as he was in an old-fashioned double. There was talk of his old club Basel coming back to the table for him, but that was extinguished as quickly as it caught flame; with Ajeti’s camp making it clear he would be looking for a considerable amount of his current salary to move back to Switzerland.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou celebrates at full time during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Dundee United and Celtic at Tannadice Park on May 11, 2022 in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

This, combined with the fact that Celtic wished to procure a fee for his services, saw the Swiss club distance themselves from a potential reunion. Once again, we are left in a quandary about what to do with two members of the squad who are no longer required but are draining resources for Ange to continue his rebuild. Poor scouting for years has come back to bite us right on the posteria. The Lawwell years have certainly not been kind to the state of our squad.

If this stand-off between Chris and any club who wishes to take him off our hands continues, it may be that Ange will have to wait until later on in the transfer window to secure more of his desired signing targets. The same goes with Albian and his representatives; if he is looking for what he is currently on at Celtic Park then he is dreaming. He hasn’t kicked a ball for quite some time now and just needs a move to regain his confidence and kick-start his lagging career at present. It would be churlish to hold out for more money from either man.

Ange has already secured one position that was in the most dire need of attention with the addition of Alexandro Bernabei. However, the defensively minded midfielder still remains a must and cannot go unattended. The earlier that is completed, the safer and more secure everyone will feel. Other things like another striker and an attacking midfielder may not come to pass, not if we still have two high earners draining the wage pool.

If we are to get Ange everything he wants in this window as well as everything he needs, I’m afraid both Albian Ajeti and Chris Jullien will need to seriously reconsider their bargaining position, as they look for life after Celtic. If not, then we may not be as fully completed as we’d like heading into Ange’s second season in charge of the club.

Paul Gillespie

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