Speaking to Israeli publication Ynet, former Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton pleaded with Maccabi Tel Aviv teammate Oscar Gloukh to remain put despite speculations of interest from the Hoops and Scottish Premiership rivals Rangers.
The midfielder, who is 18 years old, signed a new contract just last week. But it’s fair to say that he won’t likely play for Maccabi after his contract expires in the summer of 2025.
The Israeli Premier League powerhouses’ “senior source” insisted to Onet that 2022–2023 will still be Gloukh’s “last year” at Bloomfield Stadium.
When the time comes for the teen to leave, they continue, “that new contract was made so that Maccabi Tel Aviv would have the opportunity to receive full value for him.”
Therefore, a £6 million release clause was added. One that would make an exciting attacking midfielder dubbed “one of Europe’s greatest talents” the second most expensive export in Maccabi’s history if it were to be activated.
But Bitton thinks that having patience is a virtue. Gloukh can only gain from remaining at a team that allows him to play first-team football at a crucial juncture in his development.
“He is my roommate. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to him many times,” says Bitton; winner of eight Scottish Premiership titles with Celtic.
“I think that Gloukh should not rush to go abroad. Leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv is not necessarily the best thing for him right now. I think it will do him good to lead Maccabi Tel Aviv to titles and achievements before he leaves for Europe. He is still young.”
Gloukh, who was born in April 2004 and has played in just nine league games this season, has already tallied four goals and five assists. Sport5 reports that Celtic are keeping a close eye on things after another Parkhead-based Israeli import, Liel Abada, had a stellar debut season.
According to the Scottish Sun, Glasgow’s nearby Rangers also watched Gloukh play during the U19 European Championships in the summer. Gloukh propelled Israel to the championship match as one of the game’s most outstanding players.
“The contract is an excellent decision in my eyes,” adds Eli Ohana, who played 51 times for Israel. “He’s too young to go to Europe now. Except maybe (Fulham’s) Manor Solomon, most of those who left at that age returned after a year or two years.
“You arrive at the age of 18 or 19, alone, without family and friends. You have to live alone, take care of yourself and it’s not easy. I think (Gloukh made) an agreement that is good for both parties.”