The transfer window often gets referred to as ‘Silly Season’ thanks to ridiculous rumours, and Celtic and their reported valuation of George Baldock is in that category.
Reports have emerged in recent weeks to say Celtic have indeed reignited their past interest in Baldock. Their new manager, Ange Postecoglou, is apparently a big fan of the Blades right-back.
It’s no surprise to see the Scottish side keen. They need reinforcements, and Balock is a quality operator who proved himself in the Premier League over two seasons.
However, with Yorkshire Live suggesting that Celtic value Baldock at a measly £5m, then they might as well not bother even holding an interest.
In what world Celtic think that Sheffield United will sell Baldock for such a paltry fee is anyone’s guess. Yes, the Blades have a history of letting players go on the cheap, but this is a different United nowadays.
Armed with two years worth of Premier League money, there’s simply no need for the club to even entertain such offers. Given we are asking for more than £30m for both Sander Berge and Aaron Ramsdale, it makes Celtic’s assumption even more baffling.
Indeed, it would almost be amusing to see the reaction of Stephen Bettis if a £5m offer sheet arrives on his desk.
While Celtic’s valuation of Baldock is massively off, that’s not to say that Baldock isn’t for sale. United signed Jayden Bogle last summer, and Femi Seriki is also an emerging talent.
Baldock’s contract runs until 2024. It puts United in a strong position and if you compare with right-backs who’ve moved recently, then the £5m price seems even more baffling.
Max Aarons of Norwich, for example, is valued at around £30m. This is a player who played Championship football last season. Aston Villa paid £16m for Matt Cash at the start of last season, while Southampton shelled out £12m on Kyle Walker-Peters, a player who wasn’t even a first-team regular with Spurs.
Realistically, then, United will be looking for at least double that £5m being mentioned. Baldock is 28, so we can’t demand the world. But given his influence on the team, his proven record in the top two tiers, and the cost of a potential replacement (if Bogle doesn’t fire), then United will be standing firm for now.
Celtic, then, need to either come with a realistic bid here, or simply move on.