CHARLIE NICHOLAS insists Celtic MUST sell Odsonne Edouard within the next fortnight – even if they have to drop their asking price.
The French striker, 23, is in the last year of his contract and will be able to walk for free in June if the club do not receive an acceptable offer for a player they rate in the £20million region.
Brendan Rodgers persuaded the club to part with a record fee of £9million to sign Edouard from Paris Saint-Germain in June 2018 after an impressive initial season-long loan. The French giants inserted a 40 per cent sell-on clause in the deal and the Parkhead side are wary of slashing their valuation of the frontman who has scored two goals this season.
A £15million exit, for instance, would leave the Hoops with a profit of £3.6million once PSG take £2.4million of any transfer fee.
DEAL OR NO DEAL…Odsonne Edouard puzzle must be solved before August 31 deadline.
Former fans’ favourite Nicholas said: “Celtic can’t afford to let Odsonne Edouard run down his contract until next summer.
“He’s worth far too much money and Parkhead chiefs need to cut a deal. They have to speak to interested clubs to see if a transfer can be thrashed out.
“Edouard is in a strong bargaining position and he knows he can sit tight and leave on a free. Even if the Frenchman is sold before that, he could easily ask for a cut of the deal.”
Nicholas, writing in his Daily Express column, added: “Celtic need to take control of the situation.
“Dom McKay and Dermot Desmond must show some leadership on this one because Edouard is a big asset. It might mean dropping their asking price to £15million, but they have to get something out of it.”
OH Leuven frontman Thomas Henry, who had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Edouard, looks poised to join Gent in a cut-price £4.5million switch.
ON THE MOVE…Celtic target is ready for Belgian switch.
The 6ft-plus powerhouse striker was scouted by the Hoops after hitting 41 goals in 71 games for the Belgian outfit.
However, the Parkhead side have stalled on their move with uncertainty surrounding Edouard.
His fellow-Frenchman Henry’s switch to Gent appears to be “95 per cent complete”, according to a report. The Belgians have cash to splash after picking up £15million from Benfica for Ukrainian marksman Roman Yaremchuk in this transfer window.
Meanwhile, Celtic have stepped up talks over a deal for Croatia international right-back Josip Juranovic.
The Hoops hierarchy are currently in negotiations with Legia Warsaw for the £3million-rated defender after deciding to ditch a season-long loan move proposal for Manchester City’s Yan Couto.
EURO STAR…Josip Juranovic races to congratulate Luka Modric as he scores in the 3-1 win over Scotland in June.
Juranovic has let it be known he is extremely keen on a switch to Postecoglou’s side who are preparing for the first leg of the Europa League play-off final against Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in Glasgow tomorrow night.
The Polish club were knocked out of the Champions League by Dinamo Zagreb and need to recoup lost revenue with their star defender one of their top assists.
Celtic have now held further talks with the player’s representatives and are keen to get a deal over the line, according to Sky Sports News.
Twenty-six-year-old Juranovic has 10 caps for Croatia and played for his nation in the 3-1 Euros victory over Scotland at Hampden in June. He has previously had spells with Dubrava and Hajduk Split. He moved to Poland last year.
Ben Davies, who came close to joining the Hoops in January before a deadline switch from Preston to Liverpool, has joined Championship side Sheffield United on a season-long loan.
The 26-year-old central defender failed to make a competitive appearance for Jurgen Klopp’s side following his £1.6million move.