Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Jak Alnwick, Craig Gordon | Rangers, Hearts, Celtic, St. Mirren: The Domino Effect Going Around

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Jak Alnwick thought he had the world ahead of him midway through December. It was the second week of December 2019, and Rangers wanted him to sign a two-year contract. Also, Blackpool were considering making a move to sign him permanently for a small fee as the Seasiders didn’t want to take the risk of approaching the goalie at the end of the season when he was a free agent. Alnwick’s performance this season up to that point showed why Rangers made the approach to sign him in the first place. He had also performed quite well for Scunthorpe last season although he was not able to save them from getting relegated to the League Two.

However, disaster struck for the goalkeeper. What was initially suspected to be a simple bicep injury turned serious when it turned out that he needed an operation. The player has not played since and today signed a two-year deal for St. Mirren. A fit Alnwick in an alternate universe could very well have been the second-choice goalie at Rangers, although many would definitely dispute that.

Now, let’s back up a little bit. St Mirren had made a substantial offer to Craig Gordon, but it always felt that they were not his first choice. Four days back, I had revealed (to the Patreons first) that Celtic were still in intense negotiations with the player after initially offering him a third of the wages he was already receiving. Also, at the time, Hearts had not made an official approach for the player. St. Mirren, however, did not want to wait and pulled the plug on the offer they made to Gordon once it became clear that he was not even close to coming to a decision soon. This led to today and the signing of Alnwick.

Jak Alnwick in action
Coventry City v Blackpool – Sky Bet League One – St Andrew s Trillion Trophy Stadium Blackpool goalkeeper Jak Alnwick during the Sky Bet League One match at St Andrew s Trillion Trophy Stadium PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xBarringtonxCoombsx 45145329

With regards to Hearts, the scene changed over the weekend, and I was told by my source at the club that a ‘significant’ offer was made to Gordon even while the managerial situation was being discussed. However, as of this moment, he has not accepted the offer and talks are still ongoing. A sticking point is the duration of the contract with the player not wanting the option of the third year and instead wants a straight-up three year deal.

Also, while writing this piece, news came out that Gordon had given an update on the situation to TalkSport, “There are teams in Scotland I have been speaking to. It’s been widely talked about that I am in talks with Hearts, so we’ll just see what happens. I’m in no rush to make my decision just yet.

“Hearts is Hearts. It’s such a huge club. That was my boyhood club, and they mean so much to me. It doesn’t matter what league Hearts are in; they are still a huge club.”

Gordon was even more blunt about the negotiations with Celtic, “They did speak about it a few weeks ago. The negotiations haven’t been particularly good, I’ve got to be honest. It has dragged out. I feel it could have been handled an awful lot better, but I don’t want to say too much on that.

“I had a fantastic time there over the six years. I still want to be able to speak to them and see what they have to offer – what they are thinking for my role for next season if they want me to stay there.”

Gordon also confirmed that there is still a massive difference in salary between the one being offered to him and his last contract. It seems nothing has changed since my last update when it comes to Celtic trying harder to get a deal done. With Fraser Forster’s future uncertain, we could very well see the Hoops getting a deal done for another goalkeeper now that even Gordon seems out of reach.

Also reading the tea leaves from Gordon’s interview to TalkSport, it seems that he is no longer willing to stay on at Celtic. Add in the fact that I got the information that negotiations with Hearts were at a pretty advanced stage, and the goalie’s talking up his former club, and you get to see a pattern. It is seemingly looking likely that Craig Gordon’s move to Hearts will be sealed pretty soon unless there is a really late twist no one saw coming.

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