Latest reports from the Sun suggests that Celtic are set to battle it out with Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion for the signature of former Manchester United attacking midfielder Nick Powell. The 24-year-old currently plies his trade in the Championship for Wigan Athletic and is already in the final year of his contract. As not to lose him for free next summer, Wigan could be tempted to sell their star midfielder in January with both Brighton and Celtic in the race to sign him.
It’s being reported that Brendan Rodgers would be willing to shell out £5m for the attacking midfielder who played a crucial role last campaign where Wigan got promoted to the Championship from League One. Powell’s claim to fame happened when he was signed by Manchester United in 2012 and then manager Sir Alex Ferguson was impressed with what the midfielder brought to the table. However, he was unable to break into the team and had various loan spells at other clubs. He managed nine senior team appearances for the Red Devils.
Reports suggest that Rodgers is willing to even wait until the next summer to land him for free though he can always offer him a pre-contract in January with a view to signing him in the summer. It is believed that the midfielder wants to have a sizeable increase in his pay. He currently earns close to £1m a year, and if Rodgers can sign him for free next summer, then the money saved for his transfer can be utilised for his salary.
Powell has started the Championship season brightly as he has already managed 3 goals and 4 assists in seven games. Last season, the attacking midfielder managed 15 goals and 7 assists in 39 appearances in League One.
Although a number 10, Powell can be used as a secondary striker and his goal-scoring instincts can be utilised in that role. The 24-year-old often plays in the pocket of space in between the defence and midfield and one can say his intelligence and general awareness of the situation is his biggest asset. While on the ball, he has quick feet which helps the midfielder get out of trouble. Apart from all this, he uses his body well to protect the ball and surprisingly his hold up play is also reasonable.
Rodgers might have decent attacking options in Tom Rogic, Callum McGregor and Scott Sinclair who can play in a similar sort of role as Powell, but we feel the former England u-21 international would bring great value to the squad.
A move to the Premier League could be tempting for the Englishman. Therefore Brighton might hold a slight edge over there. However, the Hoops can offer him a chance to play in European competitions and a chance to win trophies so one can say the chances of both the teams luring him are even stevens at the moment.
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