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Celtic can see what they're missing when facing £7m summer target Cristiano Piccini in Europa League

Celtic have been handed a difficult task in the last-32 of the Europa League. The Bhoys will face La Liga side Valencia over two legs. The Spanish side are currently 14th in La Liga but have dropped out of the Champions League to face Spurs. Los Che defeated Manchester United in their final group game to ensure they entered the Europa League. So they will not be a pushover.

One man who Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers will be interested to face in February is Italian right-back, Cristiano Piccini.

Rodgers wanted the defender at Celtic this season.

The Bhoys were struggling in the right-back position, with Mikael Lustig’s talents fading and Cristian Gamboa not considered good enough.

Manchester United’s Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (R) challenges Valencia’s Italian defender Cristiano Piccini during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Valencia CF and Manchester United at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on December 12, 2018. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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As reported by The Daily Mail, the Italian was wanted by Celtic in the summer as it became clear he could leave Sporting relatively cheap. In the end, the former Real Betis player, headed back to Spain. He joined Valencia in a £7 million deal and Celtic are still struggling to fill the gap at right-back.

After some difficult periods at Valencia since his move, Piccini appears to be back in favour. He started in the win over Manchester United and featured in the 1-1 draw with Eibar at the weekend.

Celtic’s boss Brendan Rodgers will hope he does not put on too much of a demonstration of his talents when the two teams clash next year.

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