CELTIC last night insisted they had handled negotiations surrounding Victor Wanyama’s future “with integrity” after the midfielder’s agent said the Kenya international would not be forced into a move that did not suit him simply because it was good financially for the Parkhead club.
Wanyama’s representative Ivan Modia was responding to reports claiming that Celtic had agreed a fee of around £12.5 million for the 21-year-old. Cardiff City are believed to be keen on taking him to the Barclays Premier League, while Arsenal have also been credited with an interest in him.
However, Modia maintains there are no longer any talks with Southampton, and the player, who scored in the Celtic’s Champions League win over Barcelona last season and played a key role in securing a league and cup double for Neil Lennon’s side, is likely to look elsewhere.
“We are not in talks with Southampton and have not been since their final offer of terms, which was more than two weeks ago,” Modia told Sky Sports. “The news of the fee being agreed may just be coming out now, but we see little sense in a fee being agreed if there is no reasonable prospect of the player’s terms being met.
“To suggest we are talking with Southampton is totally false, their offer was way below Victor’s expectations. There is no chance of him signing the deal on offer and, in fact, both Celtic and Southampton were informed of this some time ago.
“The player will not be forced into a corner to accept the Southampton deal, just because it is good for Celtic. Remember, he has been with the club for two years now – without a pay rise – and has given them wonderful service ever since he arrived. Added to this is the fact that, by Celtic refusing him permission to join Queens Park Rangers last summer, Victor lost more than £1 million in potential salary earnings – yet he just
kept his mouth shut and continued to be a model professional. Many other players may not have adopted this attitude in the circumstances.”
Wanyama, signed by Celtic from Belgian side Beerschot in 2011, will now take some time to decide on his future for next
season. “We know there is interest from elsewhere and Victor is obviously open to those prospects – he is currently back in Kenya and hopes that Celtic will adopt a more reasonable approach and take into account the service that he has given the club so far and the rest of these issues,” the player’s agent added.
“Nobody at Celtic can question his attitude and he is hopeful he can leave on good terms with the club.
“He loves the club and its fans, he’s played his heart out for the jersey, but he didn’t quite expect that it may end like this.”
However, Celtic later responded to Modia’s comments and defended their handling of the situation. A spokesperson said: “These negotiations like any others are carried out by Celtic in a proper, private and professional manner. Celtic carries out its business with integrity, we work to the highest standards and in the interests of the club, our supporters and indeed our players. We do not need to comment any further on this matter.”