Celtic were thrashed 6-1 in the last qualifying round of the Champions League, but got through because their opposition Polish club Legia Warsaw fielded an ineligible player in the last few minutes of the second leg – how stupid can you get?
Virgil van Dijk – Newcastle target
Celtic got through to the next round because of that ineligible player and had a good result last Wednesday when they drew 1-1 at Slovenian club Maribor, but tonight in Scotland they were beaten 1-0 in the second leg, and things were not good in the first half when the Scottish players were booed off at half time.
Things improved a bit in the second half for Celtic, but then after 75 minutes Maribor skipper Tavares grabbed the crucial goal and the Slovenian club got through to the groups stage with a 2-1 aggregate win.
A 0-0 draw would have seen Celtic go though on their away goal last Wednesday.
Celtic will now lose at least £25M by all accounts by failing to qualify for the group stages of the competition, and maybe they will cash in and sell their top center-back Virgil van Dijk, whom Newcastle have been interested in for some time.
Virgil played the whole game tonight, after being rested along with most of the Celtic first team in the 1-0 defeat at Inverness on Saturday.
The price for the former Dutch U21 center-back is said to be £8M, and that is certainly within the budget of Newcastle this summer, after we received £79.5M from the Premier League in May for finishing in 10th place, and then a combined £22M for the sale of Yohan Cabaye in January and Mathieu Debuchy last month.
The summer transfer window slams shut next Monday night, and the Magpies need a good center-back and a good striker brought in by that time – we hope we are successful in doing just that.
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