A year ago Celtic were preparing themselves for what was likely to be a long and gruelling summer of negotiations with Arsenal as the Gunners prepared to test their resolve to keep Kieran Tierney once more.
In the end there was only ever going to be one winner. In normal circumstances summer may well have followed a similar trajectory with the Gunners considering following up on the success of their signing of Tierney – who for all his injury issues has impressed club coaching staff – with a move for Odsonne Edouard.
The 22-year-old French striker had been a target for Arsenal prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, a state of affairs which has had a decimating impact on the finances of clubs across football, including the Gunners.
At the time Celtic wanted a fee in excess of the record £25million they received from the Gunners for Tierney last summer. Such a price is beyond Arsenal’s reach now yet there are unlikely but not impossible circumstances that could yet see a move for Edouard materialise.
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It would however require the sale of at least one and possibly both of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette for Arsenal to both have the funds and feel compelled to enter the market for a replacement. Edouard is one of the players, along with Gent’s Jonathan David, who is viewed as a successor to the current strike force at the Emirates.
Yet Celtic boss Neil Lennon has indicated that Celtic do not intend or expect to lose Edouard.
“It is inevitable because of the player and talent Odsonne is,” he said of speculation linking Edouard with a move away from Celtic.
“He hasn’t said anything to me about wanting to go. Whether that changes over the next while, we don’t know.
“But we have him on a really good contract, and we are in a strong position to rebuff any interest in him. We don’t want to sell him.
“We are happy with him and he seems quite happy here. We are going for 10-in-a-row and that might be a big motivating factor for him to stay.
“We don’t know what the market value is going to be for all players, and we won’t know until leagues are finished how long the window will be.”
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