CELTIC believe tomorrow will be D-Day in their bid to land Partick Roberts.
The Hoops are desperate to snap up the winger on another loan from Manchester City in time to face Astana on Wednesday night.
They want him registered as a Champions League wild-card and in the side, possibly as a striker replacement for Leigh Griffiths, who is not yet 100% fit.
Yet while the 20-year-old – who helped Celtic to their Invincible Treble last season – is keen, his parent club are not so sure.
They are wondering if there might be more value in instead placing Roberts with Nice in French Ligue 1, or with fellow Premier League outfit, Southampton.
Tuesday’s Champions League signing deadline will force a resolution to the stand-off.
That is because manager Brendan Rodgers – who also hopes to bring in South African defender Rivaldo Coetzee – has to know if he has got his man for the crucial qualifier or whether he has to look elsewhere.
“If we can have someone registered before Astana, that would be great, but we shall see,” he said.
“I have to look at the striker position because I want to go with two, and have a young third one.
“But if the fitness level isn’t there, then I have to consider it.
“Astana, is going to be a tough for us and the first game is important.
“We need to see if we can get a positive result to take over there the following week.
“At home, the atmosphere has been absolutely incredible – in the Champions League games, in particular – so we’ll need that on Wednesday night.
“Astana are different to Rosenborg. I thought Rosenborg were a very good team, one who make you work and have some dangerous players.
“Astana have a little less structure, but have other individual qualities in their players.
“But it’s certainly a team we will go and be aggressive with to get a good result.
“We got the better of them over the two games last year, with a last-minute winner.
“It won’t be won on Wednesday. This will be over the course of two games. Our approach is to dominate.”
Rodgers has, meanwhile, voiced his concern over Stuart Armstrong’s contract situation, and believes the uncertainty has been adversely affecting the midfielder’s performances.
‘For the boy, I would want it resolved,” said the Hoops boss.
“Because you can see it, you can see it in him, that it is starting to take its toll on him a wee bit.
“He’s a very conscientious boy, Stuart. He’s not one of these boys who can just shrug it off and just play, and not think and worry.
“I genuinely think he wants to be here at Celtic and he probably wanted it resolved six, seven months ago.
“For whatever reason, that hasn’t happened.”
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