Money talks – and it made itself heard to both Celtic and Kieran Tierney on transfer deadline day.
Let’s be honest, cash was the decisive factor in the ex-Hoops hero’s move to Arsenal.
Celtic got the fee they were holding out for and the player got a life-changing pay rise.
Fair play to both of them. It was a win-win situation.
But if another multi-million pound offer arrives for one of Celtic’s top guys in January, I can see things going differently – especially if Rangers are tearing up the Premiership.
If that’s the case, it won’t matter how loudly money talks to the Hoops’ hierarchy. Its voice will be drowned out.
Callum McGregor looks the likeliest to attract interest as things stand.
It’s no surprise that Brendan Rodgers tried his luck on deadline day with a reported £20-million offer to get him to Leicester City.
Under the circumstances, with Tierney just out the door, it’s also not surprising Celtic said: “No chance” to their former gaffer.
But I’d be stunned if Brendan doesn’t try again when the transfer window reopens.
Whether Celtic accept will have less to do with the fee on offer than how comfortable they feel in the title race.
If they’re well clear of Rangers, £20m-plus might be enough to see McGregor follow his pal Tierney to the Premier League – especially if the player is keen.
On the other hand, if the Gers are breathing down the Hoops’ necks, or are ahead of them, I can’t see Peter Lawwell sanctioning the sale.
It’s not just that nine-in-a-row would be jeopardised. It’s also the record-breaking 10.
Celtic’s chief executive didn’t get to where he is by making poor decisions. He is a sharp man.
Yes, he has made Celtic lots of money in the transfer market over the years.
But he will know that another £20-odd million in January wouldn’t wipe out the cost of losing the title this year.
McGregor will understand that himself.
But I reckon if Tierney is loving life in the Premier League, he won’t be shy in telling his pals at Celtic all about it.
Footballers talk to each other constantly.
KT will be telling his old team-mates about the facilities at Arsenal, about the grounds he’s visiting, the players he’s testing himself against, and the money he’s earning.
At 26, Callum McGregor is at the perfect age to take the next step in his career, if that’s what he wants.
And the prospect of joining up again with Brendan Rodgers – a manager who got the best out of him at Celtic – must be appealing.
Not to mention the wages on offer.
I’m not scaremongering here. Scottish football – and Celtic in particular – is increasingly seen as a market worth shopping in by English clubs.
Just look at the number of Scotland internationalists in the Premier League these days.
Tierney, Andy Robertson, Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Fraser, Robert Snodgrass, Scott McTominay, John McGinn . . . the list goes on.
Then there’s Virgil van Dijk, a man who is now considered to be one of the best defenders in Europe, but who learned his trade north of the border.
For me, Callum McGregor is more than capable of joining those guys in English football.
Brendan Rodgers clearly agrees, and after raking in £80m for Harry Maguire, he’s got the kind of money to get a deal done in January.
Ironically, it seems to me that Rangers will have a say in whether Celtic take the bait.