Monday, December 5, 2022

Celtic In Intense Negotiations With Craig Gordon Over A Contract With No Formal Contact From Hearts

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While there have been rumours of Craig Gordon making a return to Hearts, it seems that is more of paper talk than anything substantial. From what I am hearing, there has been no official contact made by Hearts to the player or his representatives.

While Craig Gordon has personally talked up about moving to St. Mirren, it seems Celtic are still in intense negotiations with the player about staying on. It seems Gordon made a public statement about St. Mirren and other club’s interests (although I could not find out which other clubs are interested) to up the ante about having different options to the Celtic hierarchy. This is what he said around a week back to the Scottish Sun (don’t click if you don’t want as I am quoting the relevant thing here) “With Celtic, the ball is in their court. They’ve made an offer but they know they’ll need to come back with something better.

“My contract has lapsed and I’m free to talk to anybody. That’s what I intend to do over the next few weeks.

“St Mirren have made me a good offer and other clubs have also been in touch.

“As things stand I haven’t closed the door on anybody.”

Fraser Forster
PERTH, SCOTLAND – MARCH 01: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster looks on during the Scottish Cup Quarter final match between St Johnstone and Celtic at McDiarmid Park on March 01, 2020 in Perth, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

While there is a rumour that he would be more inclined to stay on at Celtic only if Fraser Forster leaves, from what I am told that is not completely the case. However, with public reports emerging that multiple Premier League clubs are interested in Forster and Southampton wanting £10m for the player, it looks seemingly difficult for Lennon to have his No. 1 goalkeeper back for the next term. Also, no matter what is said in public, wage concern is still an issue with the goalkeeper supposedly wanting a “fair wage” if a permanent deal is stuck. Let’s be honest, Celtic are not going to be able to match the wages offered by say Arsenal (this is just an example, I have no inside track as to whether Arsenal are indeed interested in him or not).

This is what has prompted renewed negotiations with the player in the last 4-5 days. The wage offer initially made to Craig Gordon was about one-third of the one he was already receiving. Celtic are looking at such a massive cut as not only is he no longer the No. 1 goalkeeper and the financial implications in play due to the COVID-19 situation, but because there was such a vast increase in his wages in 2017 to tie him down due to the interest from Chelsea in the January transfer window.

However, from what I am hearing, the player is negotiating from a position of strength now that there is already an offer on the table from another club. While Gordon is still ready to take a substantial pay-cut, he would not entertain offers anywhere close to the initial one. Also, if Forster indeed does not make a permanent move to Celtic, there is a legitimate reason for him to hold firm in his position.

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