NADIR Ciftci’s agent says the Dundee United striker has been “flattered” by Celtic’s interest after the player declined the chance to join Wigan Athletic in England’s third tier.
Ciftic has been the subject of two bids from both the Parkhead club and one from the English League One side.
United kicked out Celtic’s offer but gave Wigan permission to open talks with their player.
However, the Turk knocked back the chance to link up with Gary Caldwell’s team, leaving the door open for Celtic to return with an improved bid for the 23-year-old, who has already told United manager Jackie McNamara he will leave when his deal expires next summer.
But they may have to stump up a considerable sum, with United reluctant to sell to Celtic following the negative reaction last season when Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong moved to Parkhead in a cut-price £2 million deal in January.
However, former Celtic striker Pierre van Hooijdonk, who represents Ciftci, admitted Parkhead was the striker’s preferred destination.
“I know that there’s been an accepted offer from Wigan but Nadir has said no to that offer,” van Hooijdonk said. “Celtic have been in touch with two bids but those have been rejected by Dundee United and that is the status at the moment. He is flattered by Celtic’s interest but that is quite normal when you realise the size of the club. Anyone would be interested. Our relationship with Dundee United is a very good one and we want to keep it that way. We will just wait and see what happens over the next few days and weeks.”
Van Hooijdonk insists Ciftci does not want to fall out with his current club but insisted his client will have the final say on his next move. Asked if the player would abide by United’s decision, the retired Holland striker replied: “At the end of the day the player always decides what happens in my opinion. But we are not having a big argument with Dundee United.”
He is flattered by Celtic’s interest but that is quite normal when you realise the size of the club.Pierre van Hooijdonk, Ciftci’s agent