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The English Premier League’s summer transfer window closed on August 8, but it is still open in Europe till September 2, and it could be the reason why Celtic will beat Manchester City to the signing of Birmingham City centre-back Mitchell Roberts.
According to The Sun, the Scottish Premiership giants are interested in bringing the 18-year-old to Parkhead before deadline day after he caught theirs’ and City’s attentions of recent.
The Etihad Stadium outfit doesn’t hesitate to go after youngsters capable of becoming world-beaters in the future, and they have already identified Roberts as one after he impressed them during a friendly between their under-23’s and Birmingham’s.
However, Pep Guardiola’s side have to wait until January to make a move after EPL clubs decided to close their transfer window earlier than other leagues, and Celtic are looking to exploit the unpopular decision and use it to their advantage in the race.
While a majority of English top-flight clubs voted to have their summer market close before the start of every new season, they are already kicking against it after discovering it does them no good with other leagues still able to do transfer business after almost a month.
Manager Neil Lennon is looking to boost both his senior and youth sides, and he reckons a player of Robert’s potential fits the bill.
That the reigning Premier League champions are after him speaks volume, and it will be interesting to see if the Hoops can beat them to his signature in the end.
The teenager started off playing Sunday league football before Birmingham snapped him up in 2011 after being impressed with his performances following several scouting missions.
Roberts has since signed a one-year professional deal in the summer after becoming a regular for the Blues’ under-18s and under-23’s, but he is expected to be sold for the right price, and Celtic’s best chance of landing him could be this summer or never.