Date: 18th June 2009 at 9:45am
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Some transfer rumours are so ridiculous they are barely worth a second thought, but the idea of Celtic spending £8million on striker Mario Mandzukic is little short of farcical.

According to The New Football Pools, Celtic, Aston Villa, Stoke and Sunderland are all “all reported to have made enquiries” for the 23-year-old Croatian, who currently plays for Dinamo Zagreb.

Mandzukic appears to be a decent enough striker, scoring eight goals in his final 10 league games last season, but there is no chance of Celtic throwing £8million (?10million) at one player. Realistically, it’s unlikely Celtic will spend that much in total on players during the current transfer window!

However, even on a limited budget (though we’d all differ about what ‘limited means’) there is nothing stopping Celtic bringing in real quality. One of the things that has suffered due to the obscene amount of money now in the game is decent scouting. That’s an area Celtic can exploit.

Just because a player comes from an unfashionable country doesn’t mean they can’t go on to become the best in the world. George Weah, for instance, was Liberian yet dazzled the world with his skills at the highest level. There must be plenty more George Weahs out there, from Paraguay to Korea, from Iceland to Chile.

The game is changing and Celtic have to change with the times in order to survive. A policy of signing youngsters from around the globe, putting them through the youth programme and then bringing them into the first team – as long as combined with experienced players – could work and a lot could be done for the £8million Mandzukic would reportedly cost.

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