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Klimala move to Red Bulls reportedly in final stages

More details emerge as New York expected to pay around $5 million for Celtic striker

Poland U21 v Bulgaria U21 - UEFA Euro Under 21 Qualifier
Polish youth international Patryk Klimala (right) is expected to close a move to the Red Bulls in the coming days
Photo by Piotr Matusewicz/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images

It seems the last thing missing is the chanting fans at the airport terminal.

Multiple reports have popped up over the last 24 hours all but confirming Patryk Klimala will be joining the New York Red Bulls imminently. First, Jagiellonia Bialystok insider Wojciech Lideros posted on Twitter that the 22-year-old striker completed his move. The Polish youth international “will get a very interesting number,” likely a reference to his jersey and not a transfer fee. To learn the latter information, one must head away from Twitter.

According to the Daily Record, the deal “is believed to be highly satisfactory in a financial sense to Celtic and beneficial for the player.” The Scottish club could “recoup the fee they paid to Jagiellonia Bialystok,” a year ago, reported to be in the range of £3.5 million. The transfer appears all but completed outside of “visa paperwork and medical tests.”

Polish outlet Interia tells a slightly different story. The Red Bulls first became interested in Klimala “a few months ago.” The player’s agency, Fabryka Futbolu, pushed for the move, but management was initially unwilling to sell and writer Sebastian Staszewski claims that “Celtic will receive around six million euros for the forward.”

The reported “recouped” lower fee in the range of £3.5 million ($4,800,000) seems more reasonable than €6 million (roughly $7,200,000), particularly in light of the recent Sead Hakšabanović saga. The negotiations for the Swedish-Montenegrin playmaker fell through after IFK Norrköping wanted upwards of $5 million, more than New York’s “$4 million ballpark offer.” Unless the Red Bulls were planning on multiple splashy signings in this window, paying excessively more for a less-proven Klimala does not seem likely.

After never fully finding a place at Celtic, the young striker has the opportunity to earn regular playing time in a shifting team picture. His impressive physical attributes – strengthened during quarantine – make him the prototypical Struber target man, capable of running for 90 minutes and not faltering against imposing center backs. If Klimala is able to regain the scoring touch from his time at Jagiellonia, the Red Bulls may have successfully struck gold in their ongoing attempts to rescue talented players from ill-fitting environments. The extraction method has yet to be a proven winner, but reliance on analytics and a stringent vetting process should yield beneficial results.

Whatever perceived scoring issues that existed with the club’s attacking core have at least been responded to, if not yet empirically answered. The expected move to a two-striker formation already necessitated the addition of more front-line players. Instead of signing supplementary options to back up incumbents Tom Barlow and Brian White, head of sport Kevin Thelwell acquired Fábio Gomes Netto and now Klimala to challenge for the starting target striker role.

In a window when many clubs stood still or made incremental moves, the Red Bulls brought in several intriguing prospects across the pitch designed to fit the more streamlined tactical style of Struber, with the latest seemingly involving the yearned-for headline-generating transfer fee. With a move for Cincinnati midfield starlet Frankie Amaya also reportedly near completion as of Tuesday afternoon, the new management regime in Harrison is making the closing number of its multi-act transfer window the biggest.