PATRICK ROBERTS is to be sold by Manchester City in the summer after Pep Guardiola decided that the winger was not part of the side’s plans for the upcoming season.
Roberts, who spent the last 18 months on loan at Celtic, is being pursued by twelve clubs – including Celtic, Nice and Huddersfield Town. The latter have already dealt with City by purchasing Aaron Mooy for £8 million, with £2 million in add-ons.
A deal of similar structure will be sought after by Guardiola and City, who will be looking to rebuild after a poor season which saw them finish fourth and trophy-less.
The Etihad club have already secured right midfielder Bernardo Silva from Monaco for £43.5 million, coupled with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling – first team opportunities would be extremely rare for Roberts, who sparkled at Celtic.
City are understood to want a buy back clause inserted into any deal they may make, which is what Barcelona and Real Madrid do with youth players.
The winger is, however, expected to be given pre-season to prove his worth to City and to see whether the club will be set upon selling him.
Roberts made 60 appearances for Celtic during his loan period, scoring 17 goals and becoming a fans’ favourite for his skill and flair.
Celtic yesterday pulled out of the race to sign the player who would have been awarded the coveted number 7 shirt made famous by the likes of Jimmy Johnstone and Henrik Larsson.
Brendan Rodgers has now turned his attention elsewhere. Today’s signing, Jonny Hayes, is not seen as a direct replacement for Roberts by Celtic’s management team.