Fri, Sep

Photo by Stefanos Kyriazis/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Levi Garcia has had a ‘not for sale’ sign put on him after AEK Athens owner Dimitris Melissanidis said he wants to keep the striker for next season’s attempt at qualifying for the Champions League.

The Greek side have just completed a domestic double and Melissanidis has sent a message to potential suitors. Melissanidis told NewsBreak ahead of the summer: "We are all happy that after so many years this team has its own league and stadium. Today I want to tell you about our new plans and what we are thinking of doing immediately after our pitch and then whatever you want to ask us.

As reported by Sportime, the AEK chief said, “Garcia is not for sale. We’ll be happy with him and we’ll see.

“Now that I’m going to enjoy him, am I going to sell him? Everything in life is money?

“He’s not for sale. We’ll play Europe and then we’ll see.” [translated by Deep L] "We will do whatever the coach asks, four or five transfers. We are willing to do it because we believe that this team can also stand out in Europe."

However, it does seem as though the door isn’t completely closed on a possible transfer. As Greek champions, AEK do not automatically qualify for the group stages of the Champions League.

Athens enter the third qualifying round but should they not make the group stages, it seems from Melissanidis’ comments that could change the landscape where Garcia’s future is concerned.

Ange Postecoglou will add to his squad in the summer. The Celtic manager is keen to make a mark on the Champions League with Celtic and will want to show progress from this season’s bottom-placed finish.

But does Garcia have the necessary quality to help us do that? The Trinidad & Tobago internationalist has scored 18 goals this season in 37 appearances for the Greek champions. The 25-year-old can be deployed across the front three so he is adaptable if required.

However, prior to this season, his goalscoring record has not been that impressive. The forward scored eight in 39 appearances in season 2021/22 and six in 35 in season 2020/21.

But with AEK Athens allegedly looking for around €15m (£13.15m), Celtic could already be priced out of a possible move if their reported interest was genuine.

In other news, Why SPFL manager will be ‘as nervous as any Celtic fan’ for upcoming Scottish Cup Final.