Chelsea agreed to sign a hot young prospect out of Scotland yesterday as Rangers confirmed that 15-year-old Billy Gilmour will be making the switch, but he may not be the only one shuffling from Glasgow to London and vice-versa. Chelsea have been linked with several Celtic youngsters as well, while the green half of Glasgow are apparently interested in one of our own in return.
Let’s start with the latter, and the Daily Record’s claim that Celtic are the latest club to be interested in Dominic Solanke, whose contract with Chelsea is expiring this summer, with just about no hope of resolution to the long-standing disagreement over possible new terms. Former Chelsea reserves boss Brendan Rodgers is apparently keen on the 20-year-old, especially since he would only have to pay about £400,000 for his rights. If Solanke were to transfer to another English club, the fee that would be set by the tribunal could be as high as £8m.
Solanke, despite his useless season of being stuck in the Chelsea reserves after last season’s semi-promising loan to Vitesse, retains much of the promise that made him the leading goalscorer of the Chelsea Academy a couple years ago. Whoever snaps him up at less than a million is getting a tremendous bargain.
Celtic of course know all about such bargains as they used the same strategy to acquire Moussa Dembélé from Fulham last summer. Dembélé himself had been strongly linked with Chelsea (and others) over January, with fees upwards of £40m being thrown about. Dembélé, for now at least, looks to be staying ... but the summer’s only begun.
Other Celtic youngsters could be leaving however, and two of them have been linked recently with Chelsea. Teenage forward Michael Johnston’s name made the rounds briefly last week (ex.: Mail), but all those were exposed as nothing more than agent talk when the 18-year-old signed a new contract with the Bhoys a couple days later.
However, fellow teenager Kieran Tierney may be a name to remember as we head into the summer. The 19-year-old left back already has two full seasons of professional football under his belt (winning the Scottish PFA’s Young Player of the Year both times) and three senior international caps for Scotland. He was linked with Premier League moves last summer before signing a new contract. According to the Mail, Celtic have slapped a £17m price tag on him, which Chelsea may be considering at the moment.
“It's flattering [the link]. I don't bother about it too much. My pals text me but I think it would play more in your head if you weren't happy at a club. I’m really happy at Celtic, which is good.”
"I've seen the screenshots [about the Chelsea rumors] but it is just a story and I'm just concentrating on Celtic.”
-Kieran Tierney; source: Sky via Star
Tierney’s saying all the right things about loving Celtic and wanting to stay, but cooler heads have been turned by the wages that Chelsea could potentially offer.