David Turnbull’s move to Celtic remains in the balance after a knee issue was discovered during his medical.
Celtic remain keen to bring the midfielder to the club, but with the Turnbull facing a spell on the sidelines, the terms of the deal are up for discussion.
Motherwell won’t want to budge having secured a club record fee for the player, but Celtic are right to be cautious and could push for an appearances-based settlement.
In 2017, South African Rivaldo Coetzee looked set for a move to Glasgow after a deal was agreed with Ajax Cape Town, only for an issue to become apparent during his medical.
The collapse of the move came as a surprise to then-manager Brendan Rodgers, and there was further confusion when Coetzee switched to Mamelodi Sundowns ahead of the transfer window closing.
Subsequent surgery on his foot meant that he missed the full season for his new club, who revealed that the problem was worse than first thought.
While Turnbull’s issue is reportedly minor in nature, with a substantial fee and wage packet, Celtic can’t afford to take any chances.
Back in 1998, Daniel Prodan signed for Rangers for over £2million. The Romanian never kicked a ball in anger for the Ibrox club in three years.
Rangers said that no medical had been carried out and claimed to have been duped by Atletico Madrid, although a plan to sue the Spanish giants was dropped.
It might explain their reticence to go through with the signing of John Hartson, who had agreed terms to join the club in a £7million move from Wimbledon, at the same week as the old club was splashing funny money on Ronald de Boer ahead of the 2000/01 season.
The big Welshman was gutted after knee issues during a medical saw the move collapse, while proposed moves to Spurs and Charlton also went by the wayside.
He eventually signed for Coventry on a pay-as-you-play deal in early 2001. Six months later, and one year on from ‘dodging a bullet’, as he says over his collapsed Rangers move, he signed for Martin O’Neill.
The rest, as they say, is history. O’Neill’s side blew Rangers away in his first season and David Murray scrambled to fill the void up front by blowing £12million on Tore Andre Flo, the kind of recklessness that would ultimately lead to their doom.
Meanwhile, Celtic’s gamble on Hartson would pay off handsomely, with the striker bagging over 100 goals in the hoops.
Hartson’s long and wearied story before puts the Turnbull drama into some perspective.
The teenager may well go on to emulate the Welshman in becoming a hero in the east end of the city, but Celtic are right to cover themselves for any eventuality. If Motherwell are confident Turnbull’s issue is a minor one and Celtic offer the same money, dependent on appearances, there should be no problem with the deal moving ahead.
Celtic will be hoping to thrash out a deal quickly as, in a further twist, Bristol City could attempt to lure Turnbull south if the move stalls, reports Bristol Live.
Meanwhile, Toulouse centre-half Christopher Jullien could now become Neil Lennon’s first summer signing, after reports that he’s agreed to join the club in deal worth up to £8million from the French side.
Highly rated teenager Luca Connell is making positive noises about a switch to Parkhead from troubled Bolton, saying it would be ‘an honour’ to play for Celtic. And you wouldn’t need to be a Bletchley Park codebreaker to conclude Rakeem Harper remains a target for Neil Lennon, judging by West Brom’s ridiculous attack on the club this week.
Elsewhere, Arsenal continue to rummage down the back of their couch in their shambolic bid to ‘entice’ Celtic to strike a deal for Kieran Tierney.