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Celtic hold talks with Barca on further players...


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Celtic hold talks with Barca on further players

By Michael Grant

CELTIC HAVE held talks with Barcelona about bringing more players to Parkhead on the same terms as the Marc Crosas deal.

Chief executive Peter Lawwell hopes a developing relationship between the clubs will enable Celtic to sign players who might prove good enough to return and become first-team regulars at the Nou Camp.

The deal to sign 20-year-old Crosas should be completed early this week and it is the template Celtic and Barcelona hope to use again for future moves between Scotland and Spain.

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Lawwell hopes it will also work to land promising players from other major clubs. The Celtic chief conceded it was "remarkable" and "a surprise" that the contract details had been published on Barca's website, but they were accurate.

Celtic will pay £415,000 - rising to £1.6m depending on appearances - to make Crosas a permanent signing. But Barcelona still have an interest in him: they have first refusal to buy him back for £1.65m after two seasons and also a 25% cut of any sale to another club. If Barcelona do buy him back, Celtic will retain 25% of his worth.

The Crosas transfer is the culmination of talks Lawwell and former manager Martin O'Neill initially had with Barcelona four years ago about Ricardo Quaresma and Javier Saviola. "We would have taken Quaresma and Saviola but the players decided not to come," said Lawwell. "We have always had the thought that this formula could be successful. So we have looked at Crosas.

"The details went up on their website which was remarkable, we got a surprise. But it's out there now. We're not finally there but that deal is now a structure which will hopefully allow us to add players going forward.

"Hopefully it makes a lot of sense. Not only with Barcelona but maybe with other clubs too. The rationale is that this is a young player that we want and we get him for a reasonable commitment in terms of the fee. Barcelona have not given up on the boy, they still believe in him and they have an option to buy him back in a couple of years. If they don't buy him back they will retain 25% of his worth going forward. If they do buy him back, then we will have 25% of his worth. So we have a 25% stake in the worth of a Barcelona first-team player.

"I think it works. And also for however long he is here we have a player who we think will help us improve. We have formed a very good relationship with Barcelona. A young or fringe Barcelona player could come here, play in our first team, play in front of 60,000 and in Europe and develop as a player. Both clubs could benefit from that."

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So what they are saying is, Celtic are a Barca feeder club?

That's basically the plan by the looks of it. Only difference is players don't move on loan, they sign them and then 2 years in the parent club decides if they want to buy back or not.

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if your going to be a feeder for any club: barcalona would be the club you would pick - read in the newspaper that gingerbaws hasnt even seen this boy play -its all been from video tapes so hopefully he is a dud!

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