WIGAN Athletic manager Gary Caldwell could be set to nab Nadir Ciftci from under the noses of Celtic after a £1 million fee was agreed, according to reports.
The Scottish Sun have published the story, which comes one day after the Hoops had an alleged £900k bid for the player turned down by Dundee United.
Celtic could still up the ante and match Wigan’s offer, with assistant boss John Collins yesterday confirming their interest in the Turkish hitman.
However, it is understood United will knock back any bid that comes in from Celtic. The United board do not want to further alienate their support, who are still smarting from the sale of Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong to the same club so soon before a crucial run of games between the teams last season.
United are keen to sell the player to a club either in England or abroad, so as to cash-in on their prize asset before he’s allowed to leave on a free next summer. They previously tried and failed to get Ciftci to agree to a contract extension and it seems the 2014/15 campaign, where he netted 16 goals, will be his last in a Tangerine shirt.
Regardless of where he goes, Ciftci could well sit out the first few games of the new campaign after he was charged with biting Dundee’s Jim McAlister during the last Dundee derby.
With 46 games in the England League One season this potential absence won’t put off Wigan as they aim to make an immediate return to the Championship under new boss Caldwell, who takes on his first role in management.
Other players on Wigan’s books with SPFL connections are former Caley Thistle pair Billy Mckay and Don Cowie, and ex-Partick Thistle left-back Aaron Taylor-Sinclair.