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Agent issue brings Celtic transfer to a halt

Ismaila Soro’s proposed transfer to Valenciennes has been held up by a dispute over an agent involved in the deal.

The midfielder hasn’t been involved in a Celtic match since 2 February 2022 when he made a brief appearance in the Glasgow derby.

Signed by Neil Lennon, loaned out by Ange Postecoglou and now moving on under Brendan Rodgers the French Second Division seems about right for a player that Celtic spent £2.5m on and awarded a three and a half year contract to.

Negotiating a pay off from Celtic for the remaining months of the contract should be the most complex part of the departure but it seems that the Valenciennes Sporting Director wants to insert an English based agent into the move.

French website Foot Mercato reports:

It’s a story that illustrates just how special the transfer window is in football and how some transfers are filled with amazing stories. That of Ismaila Soro is proof of that.

The Ivorian player from Celtic Glasgow has agreed to join Valenciennes in Ligue 2 but a problem has arisen in this file.

According to our information, Valenciennes has decided to dismiss the player’s French agent in order to place an English intermediary on the file.

An obviously illegal practice in France and which should push the French agent, affiliated with the FFF, to file a complaint if this were to be confirmed.

And to riot the FFF of this kind of practice. Funny start for Spor Republic and its new sports director Ben Chorley.

Chorley is a former Arsenal youth team captain who went on to play for a number of lower league clubs with his best spell being a four year stint at Leyton Orient from 2009 to 2013. He spent 10 months as Sporting Director of Swindon Town, quitting in May 2022 before taking up a similar role at Valenciennes in June of this year.

Most international transfers will involve more than one agent, finding the going rate at two clubs in different countries isn’t easy.

Without knowing what is on offer at Valenciennes it is impossible to work out what sort of trade off can be made on the Celtic contract.

If Soro can be moved on it will leave Albian Ajeti as they final aspect of the Lawwell Legacy that needs to be removed from the payroll.

Patryk Klimala was first to go with an undisclosed fee taking the Polish striker to RB New York, when Ange Postecoglou took over Vakoun Bayo and Marian Shved left with a year left on their contracts, Boli Bolingoli did the same in the summer of 2022.

After getting his career back on track at Utrecht Vasilis Barkas negotiated a deal on the final year of his Celtic contract and has gone back to Utrecht on a permanent basis.

Even with Soro almost out the door Celtic still have a first team squad of around 30 players with lots of work expected to trim at least half a dozen from that number to get things down to a manageable number once the transfer window closes.

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