JOHN GUIDETTI MOVE TO CELTIC FINALLY RATIFIED; KELECHI IHEANACHO JOINS COLUMBUS CREW UNTIL HE TURNS 18
Almost three days after the transfer deadline closed, Manchester City striker John Guidetti was finally allowed to join Celtic on a season-long loan deal.
The deal was ratified after Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League appealed to FIFA for special dispensation to allow the 22-year-old Swede’s move to complete.
The original transfer paperwork was filed after Monday’s transfer deadline, and the successful appeal came after Tuesday’s midnight deadline for registering Europa League squads.
This means that Guidetti won’t be eligible to play in Europe for Celtic until January and the Scottish club will have to qualify from the Group D to field him in the knockout phase of the competition.
Guidetti is the second senior striker to exit the Etihad since the summer transfer market after Alvaro Negredo signed for Valencia and could be set to leave Manchester City permanently at the end of the season as he is in the final year of his current deal.
He will join Celtic’s new Serbian signing Stefan Scepovic who successfully signed on deadline day, and fellow City player Jason Denayer who has been playing in defence for the Scottish champions.
Guidetti enjoyed a goal filled spell at Feyenoord during the 2011-12 season but failed to score during an unsuccessful spell on loan at Stoke City last season.
City will go into the season with just three senior strikers on their books although the signing of defensive midfielder Fernando allows manager Manuel Pellegrini the flexibility to push one of Yaya Toure, David Silva or Samir Nasri into an advanced central midfield role along a lone striker.
With tough matches against Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Roma coming up in the Champions League the option to toughen up in midfield will be a welcome one after some sobering experiences in the last few seasons.
If City require a front-man before January, young Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho, who is training with American MLS side Columbus Crew until October when he turns 18, could qualify for a work permit.
Iheanacho would be a surprise addition to City’s squad if he receives a work permit but deserves a chance after scoring two goals in two games against Sporting Kansas City and AC Milan during their pre-season tour and impressing with his direct running.
He also recently netted a hat trick in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Dayton Dutch Lions for Columbus Crew.