Ex-Celtic striker Chris Sutton says he is worried about the club’s prospects next season if they have to offload three key players in the summer.
The BT Sport pundit believes Kristoffer Ajer, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie could all be sold with just twelve months remaining on their current deals, and due to their contract situation, he fears they may only get £30m for the trio. If that is the case, he says that the money won’t be enough to rebuild the squad ahead of the Champions League qualifiers:
“How many (of the current squad) are going to be good enough or are going to be there next season? I’d say not many. We talk every season about Champions League qualifiers coming around and Celtic need to be ready. Ajer has one year left on his contract and it seems he wants to try something else, so it looks like he’ll be off.”
“You look at Edouard and Christie, it looks like they’ll be off and this is a massive, massive issue. How can there be trust in Nicky Hammond? So you sell Edouard, Christie, Ajer and you get £30m or £40m, who are you going to get in at the level to reach the Champions League group stage?”
Sutton is right to point out that Celtic’s squad would be weakened massively by the departure of three stars, and questions have to be asked over whether current Head of Football Operations, Nicky Hammond, is up to the task of finding replacements.
Combined with the fact that there is no certainty that Neil Lennon will still be in charge ahead of next season, there are major concerns about what sort of shape the team will be in when Champions League qualification comes around again.