Patrick Roberts is expected to return to Celtic on another season long loan deal early next week, with the player’s desire to return to Glasgow for a second spell the catalyst behind the move.
The Parkhead side have been in constant negotiations with Manchester City about the availability of the England under-20 internationalist since he returned to his parent club last May.
The news that a return of Roberts, who was a key part of the Invincible treble-winning side last term, will be eagerly welcomed by the Celtic support who have bombarded the player on social media over the last few months with messages encouraging his return.
It is expected that Celtic will pay just over £2.75m to City in a loan agreement deal and will also shoulder a sizeable proportion of Roberts’ salary.
City had felt that the player whom they paid £12m to Fulham for would be better off exposed to Premier League football, with Southampton their favoured destination for the player. It is understood that Nice and Huddersfield were also interested in Roberts, while a move to Spain to Girona was also on the cards at one point.
While minor details have still to be concluded on the deal which is expected to be signed early next week, the belief is that it was Roberts himself who was pivotal in engineering the return to Celtic, with a desire to work under Brendan Rodgers for another year.
Roberts featured for City in their pre-season tour of the United States this summer and played for Pep Guardiola’s side against Manchester United but he was not part of the squad for the opening game of English season against Brighton.
Having been told that he could go back out on loan this season, Roberts has dug his heels in for a return to Celtic where he will immediately rejoin his team-mates.
With the player expected to be signed and registered next week he will be eligible for the group stages of the Champions League should Celtic, with their first leg 5-0 win over Astana, progress into next week’s draw.
The pull of Champions League football has worked in Celtic’s favour although much has to be attributed to Celtic’s desire to get the player back to the club for another season in addition to Roberts’ own feeling that his development was better served in Glasgow.
He will meet Jonny Hayes, Olivier Ntcham and Kundai Benyu who have been added
Rodgers added Jonny Hayes, Olivier Ntcham and Kundai Benyu to his squad ahead of the new campaign. With over a week of the transfer window still remaining, it remains to be seen if there are further additional signings made to bolster the squad ahead of a two-pronged domestic and European campaign.
Source : HeraldScotland