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Celtic in stand off over three lucrative contracts

With five new additions before the start of the SPFL season, there are still a few heavy earners that Celtic are looking to get off the wage bill.

Albian Ajeti, James McCarthy and Ismaila Soro.

There has barely been a credible rumour of interest in any of those players who could easily be lifting more than £50,000 a week out of the club. Perhaps closer to double that figure having arrived from Crystal Palace and West Ham.

Contracts are a complex business, wages per week are commonly quoted but bonuses and especially the loyalty ones underpin modern deals.

McCarthy is halfway through a four year deal, signing at the same time as Joe Hart but struggling to fit in almost from day one. Last season there was one significant contribution, towards Giorgos Giakoumakis scoring a stoppage time winner away to St Johnstone. In October.

On the balance of evidence Ange Postecoglou is entitled to a mistake in the transfer market, the four year contract was down to Celtic’s negotiating team.

Soro and Ajeti are very different problems, inherited by Postecoglou, like Vasilis Barkas, but the new manager was unable to inject fresh life into them despite playing them by necessity in his early matches. Soro and Ajeti started the Europa League campaign two years ago away to Real Betis.

Unlike Barkas they both had under-performing loan spells last season with no hint of Sturm Graz or Arouca wishing to make the moves permanent. Even on discounted terms neither club wanted to pick up on two players in their mid-twenties unlikely to ever again earn the sort of money that they are currently on at Celtic.

It is unknown where both players currently are, whether they are training with the younger players or given the cold shoulder of training on their own.

Without pre-season matches they are even less likely to attract offers with two underwhelming seasons the latest entries to their CV’s.

Twenty two players are expected to be involved in tonight’s match against Athletic Bilbao but Soro, Ajeti and McCarthy won’t be included.

The former Everton midfielder did make it into the squad that trained in the Algarve for a week but missed out on going to Japan with Odin Thiago Holm and Kwan getting game time in a similar role.

There doesn’t seem to be an obvious solution to the issues with Soro and Ajeti who appear to be in it for the long haul knowing that life outside of Celtic will be considerably less lucrative.

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