It was the long-running saga of the January transfer window but it was clear for everyone to see Brendan Rodgers was pushing to sign one player in-particular but like the windows which had already gone before him – the club couldn’t make a deal.
Celtic’s attempts to pry Timothy Castagne away from Atlanta proved too difficult after receiving encouragement in the early part of the window.
Speaking towards the end of the window, it was clear Celtic would not be getting their man with Timothy commenting on a potential Serie A exit.
“Atalanta does not want to let me go and I do not want to leave.” the defender admitted to SunSport.
“The club has also activated an option in my contract, so I am here until 2021.”
In the same conversation, the right back gave Celtic hope of a deal come the summer by saying he wants to play European football next term.
“But let’s see what happens in the summer. I certainly won’t be ruling out a departure from Atalanta then.
“If I do go, it would have to be a team that plays in the Champions League and for a club that goes every year for the title.”
“If Atalanta have the same goals and gets to play European football, then maybe I will stay here.”
After these comments, Timothy admitted in February that Celtic had 100% tried to sign him in January only for the club to rebuff the offer.
Atlanta is currently seventh in Serie A, just a place below a Europa League spot. The Italian club could get Euro football next term but it’s not guaranteed and it most likely will not be Champions League.
However, even if Celtic do make the Champions League, is the deal now dead in the water for the once sought after star with Brendan Rodgers now out of the picture. The deal wouldn’t be cheap and TransferMarkt has the player’s latest transfer valuation sitting at £9m.
For the moment it looks like Jeremy Toljan is just a stop-gap loan signing and whether the club triggers Lustig’s one-year extension or not, he’s going to need help should they keep him on.
Whoever becomes the new Celtic manager on a full time basis has a lot of work come the summer.