Celtic are more than aware of the harsh reality that faces Scottish football. Essentially, that the huge financial discrepancy between the Scottish top flight and the English Premier League means the champions are almost powerless to prevent their key players moving south of the border.
In recent years, the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Ledley, Gary Hooper and Adam Matthews have swapped one of Europe’s most historic clubs for Southampton, Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Sunderland.
Manager Brendan Rodgers even acknowledged the fact that Celtic have almost become something of a feeder club for their affluent British relations.
“You know at Celtic that if you get a really talented player then the cycle at best is a couple of years,” he told the Daily Record. “If they have that quality then it is a great platform for them to demonstrate that and then they know there is a better financial situation down south.”
However, if this wasn’t galling enough for Celtic supporters, the fact that one of the smallest clubs ever to grace England’s top flight could steal two of their summer transfer targets just adds insult to injury.
The Sun reports that Bournemouth will make a £6 million bid for Liverpool’s highly-rated winger Ryan Kent this summer after an excellent breakthrough season on loan at Barnsley in 2016/17.
Celtic are also interested in signing the 20-year-old but matching Bournemouth’s bid would mean equalling their all-time transfer record.Therefore, it appears far more likely that The Cherries will pay such a fee for Kent this summer – after all, they’ve paid more than £6 million for six seperate players since being promoted to the Premier League in 2015.
Yet, if Bournemouth, with their 11,000 capacity stadium, can comfortably beat Celtic to one of Britain’s most exciting talents, it would only highlight the chasm between English and Scottish football.