Ex-Celtic striker John Hartson thinks the club’s decision to sell Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer stems from the belief that they are not confident of winning the title this season.
The two players have been offloaded for a sum total of £27.5m, while Rangers, in contrast, opted to keep their key players. Hartson feels that the two different approaches are down to the fact that the Hoops are more pessimistic in their outlook:
“Celtic have done what Rangers haven’t done. They want to keep all their players, and are really confident of winning the league, and going into the Champions League and getting that money and everything else.”
“Celtic are maybe not awfully confident of doing that, even with Edouard, and they have decided to let him go. I think it’s a very similar situation to Ajer. Ajer has gone to Brentford for the same type of fee.”
You can understand where Hartson is coming from here. Finishing 1st in the league this year guarantees a place in next season’s Champions League group stages, which would have provided far greater financial rewards than the money they will receive from selling Edouard and Ajer.
Clearly, Celtic’s board feel that the pair won’t make enough of the difference in terms of deciding the league title, as otherwise, they could have allowed them to leave on a free transfer next year when their contracts were due to expire.