It’s probably fair to say that Patrick Roberts’ return to Middlesbrough has not gone as planned.
Having returned to the Riverside Stadium in the summer, after spending the second-half of last season on loan with ‘Boro from Manchester City, this second temporary spell with the Championship club has been difficult for the winger.
So far this season, Roberts has started just three league games for ‘Boro, leading to manager Neil Warnock recently admitting that he would not stand in the way of the 23-year-old if he was to look for another club in the January transfer window.
That is seems, is something that has caught the attention of club that Roberts is already familiar with, in the form of Celtic.
Roberts previously spent over two years on loan with the Scottish giants between 2016 and 2018, scoring 18 goals in 79 appearances and winning seven domestic trophies during his time in Glasgow.
Recent reports from The Daily Record in Scotland have claimed that Celtic have now been alerted to Roberts’ potential availability, and it does seem as though it is a move that could make sense.
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The Scottish giants are said to be keen to add a wide-man to their squad amid injury concerns around James Forrest, while Roberts himself is reportedly open to a move elsewhere in order to boost his game-time after some difficult recent spells.
Given those desires, and the past links between the two, it could certainly be argued that a deal to take Roberts back to Parkhead would make sense.
For now however, there has yet to be any official announcement made about the possible termination of Roberts’ loan at The Riverside Stadium, while it remains to be seen whether the news of positive Coronavirus cases amongst the ‘Boro first team on Thursday could alter any plans with regards to the winger.
Indeed, even if Roberts was to cut short his loan with ‘Boro, Celtic would still have to address the issue of negotiating a deal with Manchester City, where the winger still has 18 months remaining on his current contract.
As a result, while it seems as though a move from Middlesbrough to Celtic – via Manchester City – could make sense, there is still some way to go until that happens.