Celtic fans are used to hearing about transfer near misses. Our recent history shows that many top players have looked at our club and fancied the move to Paradise.
The most recent example of that was Ivan Toney, who was managed to make it into the boardroom but never managed to make the pen hit the contract.
There are more high profile players that have been transfer near misses.
World class players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was a £2m target for Martin O’Neill or Drogba who was interested in signing for the Hoops for FREE back on 2002.
And then there was Olivier Giroud. With a World Cup, Champions League, Europa League and F.A. Cup winners medals to his name and over £30m worth of transfer moves, his career could have been so different if he hadn’t listened to the chairman of Montpellier, Louis Nicollin.
With Giroud’s heart set on a move to Glasgow’s East End, Nicollin used the most ridiculous argument to dissuade Giroud from making the switch to Paradise.
In his book, ‘Always Believe’, as transcribed by The Sun, Giroud made this stunning confession that will leave the Hoops fans with a feeling of ‘what if’, “I felt invincible that season. I scored 23 goals in 40 games and was the top goalscorer.
“I won the Ligue 2 Player of the Year trophy and my salary increased to €15,000 per month.
“The phone started ringing and several clubs were interested in me. Montpellier and Monaco, but also Celtic and Middlesbrough.
“My agents were working flat out to get me the best contract at the best club.
“My preference is Celtic and their legendary stadium, with its 60,000 capacity, is the stuff of dreams.
“I could already see myself there.
“Strategically, this club would be a great springboard to realise my ambition to eventually play in the Premier League.
“But in the meantime, my agents Alain and Guillaume come up with the idea of approaching Louis Nicollin, the now much-missed chairman of Montpellier.
“They advised me to take his call and told me, ‘You are free to decide which club you want to play for, but you should listen to what he has to say’.
“Flattered that this legend of French football wants to speak to me, I agree. Listening to him, I realise how much this club wants me.
“Straight off, he says ‘What are you going to do in Scotland in KILCHMARCHNOCK!’
“Mentioning the town of Kilmarnock is a slightly round-about way of bad-mouthing the whole Scottish championship.
“The chairman is desperate to persuade me not to sign for Celtic, who at this point are top of my list.
“He said, ‘Come to us, you’ll be all right — you’ll be happy’.
“He explains his club’s strategic plan in great detail. His star striker has left and Nicollin assures me I will be No 1.
“I’m becoming more and more tempted by his offer.
“I ended the call asking if I can think about it for a little while, but I already know my future lies with this club.”
555 appearances in his career, Giroud has amassed 223 goals and a mere 46 goals in 110 appearances for France.
Imagine what he could have achieved at Celtic at that time?