Celtic boss Deila poised to seal Wakaso loan deal from Rubin Kazan today
Celtic are unlikely to be able to field the Ghana winger Mubarak Wakaso in either leg of their Champions League play-off against NK Maribor.
Wakaso, 24, who joined the Russian side Rubin Kazan from Espanyol last year, has emerged as the latest transfer target for the Scots.
The deal — if it goes ahead — would be on a loan basis, suggesting a significant shift in transfer policy.
On the eve of the return leg of their second qualifying round tie against KR Reykjavic at Murrayfield last month, Celtic manager Ronny Deila made it clear he did not see short-term signings as the way forward.
“Loan deals are a possibility but loans are not ideal,” he said. “You don’t want to develop other clubs’ talent and not get money for it.
“The important thing is to get someone who will make the team much better. So it could be older players, who have no future value, but who can use their experience and skills to help us. So that’s another opportunity.”
Despite bringing in £11.2?million from the sale of Fraser Forster and Tony Watt to Southampton and Standard Liège respectively, the only player brought in on a permanent basis is the goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who had his medical before Deila had even been unveiled as the successor to Neil Lennon.
Since then Jo Inge Berget (Cardiff City), Jason Denayer (Manchester City) and Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa) have arrived on loan, with Wakaso — like Berget and Tonev, a wide attacking player — likely to follow that now well-trodden path.
Celtic appear to have switched from signing young players with potential — the “projects” of which Lennon despaired — who can be sold on at a profit, to borrowing players who cannot get a game with their parent clubs.
The move for Mubarak is further complicated by the need for a work permit.
He is not likely to meet the required criteria because he has not played in 75 per cent of matches for his national team in the last two years.
Mitigating circumstances, such as injuries, could circumvent that obstacle but the Uefa signing deadline for the match in Slovenia tomorrow (and the return at Parkhead next week) is 11am today and Mubarak would first need to be registered with the Scottish Football Association, who will require that work permit.
Mubarak, of course, could still be signed (permit permitting) and then listed in the squad for either the Champions League or the Europa League group phase, depending on the outcome of the tie against
He came off the bench to help Ghana to a 2-2 draw against Germany, the eventual winners, at the World Cup finals.