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Celtic transfer breakthrough over midfielder

Ismaila Soro’s move to Valenciennes appears to have been given clearance from the French Football Federation.

The midfielder is in the final year of his Celtic contract and was expected to join the French Second Division side before a complaint was raised about an agent involved in the deal.

Soro clearly has no future at Celtic but securing the next stage of finding a new club has been a complicated process mainly down to the terms of the contract he signed when he moved from Bnei Yehuda.

Announced as a possible successor to Scott Brown when he arrived in January 2020 he had to wait until September to make his first appearance.

Playing alongside David Turnbull in the Europa League dead-rubber against Lille in December 2020 there was some hope that Soro could make an impact but that quickly fizzled out with Ange Postecoglou less impressed than Neil Lennon.

Forced to juggle the squad that he inherited Soro featured in a few early matches under the Australian but after the January signings of Reo Hatate, Yosuke Ideguchi and Matt O’Riley the door closed on the Ivorian midfielder’s Celtic hopes.

Late this afternoon Footmercato reported:

Ismaïla Soro could land in France. The 25-year-old Ivorian midfielder has been a Celtic Glasgow player since 2020, but has just returned from a one-year loan to Portugal (Arouca).

According to our information, Celtic have agreed with Valenciennes to transfer their player in exchange for €150,000. Free from any contract in a year, Soro declared in the local press that he would prefer to sign at Beitar Jerusalem. 

Faced with this concern, VA nevertheless inquired about the player’s agent and the FFF clearly stipulated to the northern club that it was indeed the representative of the Ivorian and that the representation contract is well registered.

The true financial details are unlikely to surface but his departure would leave Albian Ajeti as the only legacy deal from Lennon’s time in charge.

Patryk Klimala and Vasilias Barkas were quietly moved in but the former West Ham striker looks like driving a hard bargain with his lucrative contract running through until the end of this season.

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