Burnley are ready to test Celtic’s resolve by putting in a transfer bid for Ryan Christie.
During the summer Neil Lennon admitted that he had players in the squad wanting to leave with Jeremie Frimpong completing his move to Bayer Leverkusen yesterday.
That was the first top team transfer from Celtic since the August 2019 sale of Kieran Tierney with others expected to leave this year in order to balance the books.
At the end of December ALK Capital bought an 84% stake in Burnley with Alan Pace taking over as Managing Director and promising of invest in a squad which is among the lowest paid in the EPL.
Sean Dyche has kept the club in the EPL since winning promotion in 2016 and is now looking to push them into the top half of the table with an increased player budget.
Christie signed a new three and a half year Celtic contract in November 2018 but can expect a massive pay rise by following Stuart Armstrong and Kieran Tierney to the EPL where his former team-mates are flourishing.
With no sign of a new contract being agreed Celtic have the decision to sell now or in the summer. The emergence of David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro has provided fresh options in midfield with Scott Robertson recalled from his loan at Gillingham.
An offer in the region of £18m will be hard to resist with the Frimpong transfer confirming that Celtic are willing to do business and Burnley looking to invest in players with a sell-on value.
Picking up on a message to Burnley fans in the match programme from the win over Aston Villa last night, Lancs Live report MD Pace saying:
I have been disappointed that we haven’t been able to add to the squad, but I can assure you that is not for lack of trying.
The fact that, at the time of writing, there have been just six new signings across the entire Premier League, gives a strong indication of the challenging marketplace we are operating in.
I remain committed to helping Sean strengthen the side in areas where he feels it is required, but that process will take time. Our approach will be one of evolution rather than revolution, as we look to build on the strong performances in recent weeks and reach our goals for this season.
Christie came on as a 70th minute substitute for Turnbull in last night’s 2-0 win over Hamilton, this season he has started 27 matches, scoring six goals.
Explaining his approach to transfer business Pace told Sports Business:
I’ve long believed that talent identification, player development and performance in sport can be aided and enhanced by state-of-the-art technology and predictive analytics used throughout other industries.
Why, for example, would a club take a chance on signing a big-money player or adopt a specific training method without concrete data that the actions can have a positive impact on performance and development of the team?
Let me be clear, this isn’t about playing ‘Moneyball’ or using data to identify low-cost, high-return solutions, but being insight-led and using the technology at our disposal to make smarter decisions that will carry long-term benefits.
We have already seen in recent years the positive role that data can play in areas like injury prevention, and there is much more that can be done within the sports science discipline, as we increase data sources and learn how to further interrogate it.