Southampton have agreed a £10 million deal with Celtic for English goalkeeper Fraser Foster, who was a member of England’s squad at the World Cup finals in Brazil, despite the Glasgow club’s continued participation in the Champions League.
Foster has spent four seasons at Celtic, with two of them on loan at the club before joining in a permanent deal from Newcastle United in 2012. Newcastle will be due 25% of the transfer fee agreed due to a sell on clause inserted in the deal.
Celtic’s decision to sell Foster was thought to hinge on whether they managed to qualify for the Champions League or not. After a 6-1 aggregate hammering against Legia Warsaw in the second qualifying phase, Celtic were extremely lucky to have the result of the home leg over turned by UEFA. Warsaw won the Glasweigan club’s home leg of the tie, played at Murrayfield in Edinburgh due to the use of Celtic Park for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, however the result was overturned from a 2-0 victory for Warsaw to a 3-0 victory for Celtic. This was due to the use of a substitute, Bartosz Bereszynski in the final two minutes of the game who had not been properly registered for the previous round and was therefore still suspended due to a red card picked up in last season’s Europa League campaign.
The transformation of a 2-0 defeat into a 3-0 victory made the aggregate score 4-4, rather than 6-1, with Celtic’s sole goal in the tie, proving the crucial away goal.
It is fair to say that it is inconceivable that Bereszynski had any effect on the match, however Celtic have been given another shot at qualifying for the Champions League, with a third round match against Maribor.
Celtic have decided to cash in on one of their most valuable assets anyway, which may not be a huge vote of confidence in the team’s ability to get past the Portuguese side.