Opinion: Derby County turmoil opens the door for Celtic to sign Marshall and Roberts

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The Celtic Star

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Derby County are in dire straits right now as their proposed buyer appears not to have the funds necessary to secure the club’s immediate future, threatening The Rams with administration. The club, who narrowly escaped relegation on the final day of the season, have a high wage bill and this could lead to a squad exodus in the summer – which could be of interest to Celtic.

The club were deemed to breach FFP rules and will likely face a punishment ahead of the new season. As they try and get a takeover completed, it is likely that they may require an enormous overhaul with youth players being preferred to seasoned pros and Manchester City loanees.

David Marshall is Scotland’s No.1 and national sweetheart after blocking a penalty to send Steve Clarke’s sides to the Euros. The 36-year-old has been a major part of this poor Derby side that has just beaten relegation. Yet even so, he would be an improvement on Barkas, Hazard and Bain, who have all proven that the task of replacing Forster and Gordon is too big a task for them. As a result, the new manager may be tempted to sign the former Celtic youngster who has just a year remaining on his deal with The Rams. Now, Wayne Rooney’s side may be forced to sell Marshall or allow him to leave on a free, with Celtic an option to give Marshall a fairytale return to his boyhood heroes.

Marshall burst onto the scene with a captivating goalkeeping performance at the Nou Camp, earning Celtic a clean sheet in Barcelona that night,  with some breathtaking stops. The ex-Wigan goalkeeper started his career at Celtic before departing in 2007 after Gordon Strachan opted for Artur Boruc.

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Another name that could interest Celtic is Paddy Roberts, the winger scored in the draw with Sheffield Wednesday but he has struggled since leaving Glasgow. Derby reportedly have an option to buy the player but with funds limited, he may be forced to return to Manchester City as he continues to find a permanent place to play his football.

Roberts scored 18 goals in 79 appearances in Scotland and was very impressive under Brendan Rodgers in the Invincible season. He may be keen on a move to Celtic as it would give him the chance to settle, something he hasn’t had the opportunity to do since leaving Celtic.

He had a successful two-and-a-half years leaving with seven trophies and the adoration of the support. Roberts has business interests in Glasgow and if Celtic make an offer, they would certainly stand in good stead to sign the winger. It wouldn’t be a transfer window without Celtic being linked with Roberts.

Celtic would certainly be improved by signing both Marshall and Roberts and whilst they say that you should never go back, Celtic need to be thrifty this summer in their recruitment.

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