The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Celtic face bat­tle for Roberts’ sig­na­ture

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By Graeme Croser CELTIC will need to fend off com­pe­ti­tion from France, Ger­many and the English Pre­mier League if they are to se­cure the per­ma­nent sign­ing of Pa­trick Roberts.

The winger has re­turned to Manch­ester City fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion of his suc­cess­ful 18-month loan spell at Celtic Park and is ex­pected to join Pep Guardi­ola’s squad on a pre-sea­son tour to the USA.

With the ap­proval of man­ager Brendan Rodgers, the Scot­tish cham­pi­ons have noted their in­ter­est with City and in­di­cated they will be will­ing to pay a trans­fer fee in the re­gion of £5mil­lion.

Guardi­ola in­tends to take a close look at the star­let, but the ar­rival of Ber­nado Silva from Monaco for £43m has not en­hanced his first-team prospects.

City may de­cide to loan him for a sec­ond time, prefer­ably to a con­ti­nen­tal club. French out­fit Nice are keen in tak­ing Roberts, 20, for the sea­son, while Bun­desliga clubs Schalke and Hof­fen­heim have been cred­ited with an in­ter­est.

Southamp­ton and Bournemout­h are also in the frame but it is un­der­stood he would only be al­lowed to move to another English club if City, who paid Ful­ham £12m for the player two years ago, de­cide to sell.

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