Monday, October 2, 2023

Celtic Strike Deal With Valerenga For This Highly-Rated Norwegian: Why The Bhoys Must Get It Done

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a recent report from the Norwegian outlet TV2 is believed to be true, Celtic are closing in on Valerenga prodigy Odin Thiago Holm. A bid of around £2.25m from FC Copenhagen has been rejected by the Oslo-based outfit. However, the Hoops have struck a deal of £2.5m amid rumours of fellow countryman Kjetil Knutsen’s potential appointment as the next Parkhead chief.

Despite conquering a domestic treble under Ange Postecoglou, the Bhoys are yet to rope in a new name ahead of the 2023-24 season. The Aussie boss stepped down a few days ago in favour of the Tottenham Hotspur job, and the Celts’ board are now focusing on finding his successor at Celtic Park.

Knutsen, currently in charge of Bodø/Glimt, would be an exciting acquisition given his successive Eliteserien triumphs in 2020 and 2021. They lost the league to Molde in 2022 but are enjoying a commanding lead this year with 10 wins in 11 outings. His arrival would further boost Holm’s chances to shine in the centre of the pitch.

Irrespective of Knutsen’s appointment, the 20-year-old midfield starlet is tipped to flourish donning the Hoops’ colours. He is hailed as one of Norway’s next-gen sensations and his current employers have inserted a 15% sell-on fee to make a sizeable profit from any future sale.

Celtic are considering Kjetil Knutsen for the vacant managerial role
Bodo/Glimt’s Norwegian coach Kjetil Knutsen reacts during the UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Arsenal and Bodoe/Glimt at The Arsenal Stadium in London, on October 6, 2022. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Smart Move From Celtic?

The youngster follows Thiago Alcântara as his role model and has registered ‘Thiago’ as his middle name. His style of play matches the artistry of the Spaniard who loves to operate in a box-to-box role and offer a creative spark in and around the opponents’ box. Valerenga are struggling at the wrong end of the league standings, but the rising prospect of Norwegian football has impressed so far with regular minutes.

Celtic are well-equipped in the middle of the park, thanks to Postecoglou’s connections and contacts in the J1 League that helped them secure the services of Reo Hatate and Tomoki Iwata. He also tied down his compatriot Aaron Mooy on a Bosman, also, the signing of Matt O’Riley bolstered their midfield game with flexibility and vision. Skipper Callum McGregor and David Turnbull are also there as quality options, yet they might require reinforcements in the wake of a few transfer speculations.

Turnbull should opt for a fresh challenge unless his gametime increases. There could be offers for O’Riley and Hatate after an impressive spell and it remains to be seen whether the champions of Scotland secure Holm’s services in the coming days.

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