PETERBOROUGH director of football Barry Fry has hit out at Celtic, claiming their deadline day bids for Lee Tomlin ‘unsettled’ the player.
The Parkhead side submitted three bids for the League One player on Saturday, including one during Peterborough’s 2-0 defeat to Crawley.
Fry rejected an opening bid of £1.2 million, before knocking back further offers of £1.6 million and £2 million - the final bid being submitted around 4.30pm on Saturday.
The Posh director of football told the Daily Mail: “ Before the game, the manager [Darren Ferguson] came to me and the chairman and said Lee’s head was all over the place.
“He wanted to go to Celtic and we told him the bids hadn’t been accepted. The manager eventually played him and he was very poor.
“He took him off at half-time and at 4.27pm, we got another email, which the secretary rang me to tell me about during the game.
“So after the game, Lee and the manager had words because Lee knew what Celtic had bid on three occasions. He was upset the club didn’t allow him to go and it was like World War Three before, during and after the game.”
Fry, a former manager of Peterborough, revealed he had telephoned Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell and had told him ‘it was never going to happen in a million years.’
He added that he felt the Celtic bid ‘was a joke’ given their Champions League play-off win over Shakhter Karagandy, revealing that the bid “had no add-ons, no money for winning the Champions League or appearances or goals.”
Fry criticised the Parkhead side for the deadline day bids, saying: “I’m not telling other people how to do their job. But it was last-minute, it was the day of a game and, in a dressing room, a player in that situation will upset the manager and all the players.”
The director admitted that he had been aware of Celtic’s interest in Tomlin since the start of July, when the player’s agent informed the Cambridgeshire club that the Parkhead side were interested in signing the 24-year-old.
Manager Darren Ferguson has valued the player at £12 million, but Fry has insisted that the deal could be revived in January if Celtic are still interested, adding: “Lee had his heart set on Celtic and I can understand, especially with Barcelona and AC Milan around the corner.
“But the finance has to be right. It won’t happen now, obviously, but will it happen in January or at the end of the season? That depends on Neil [Lennon] and Peter [Lawwell].”