Gordon Strachan rubbishes claim he didn’t want Roy Keane at Celtic

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Gordon Strachan has rubbished claims he didn’t want to sign Roy Keane when the legendary midfielder left Manchester United in 2005.

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Roy Keane, right, with Gordon Strachan after agreeing to join Celtic. Picture: Getty

Roy Keane, right, with Gordon Strachan after agreeing to join Celtic. Picture: Getty

After the Irishman’s departure from Old Trafford, Celtic were able to scoop him up on a free transfer until the end of the 2005/06 season.

Keane would later write in his autobiography that he signed for the Parkhead side in order to spite Strachan, who he believed didn’t actually want to sign him and was under pressure to do so by the board.

It read: “I met Gordon Strachan in London at Dermot Desmond’s house. Gordon told me ‘I’m not really worried if you sign for us or not. We’re okay without you’.

“So I said to myself ‘F*** him, I’m signing’.

“I think it was one of the reasons I signed for Celtic - to prove Gordon wrong.”

However, Strachan insists he was more than happy to have Keane join his side, who were leading the SPL table en route to the league title, he just wanted the player to know it would be tough to break into the Celtic midfield.

Asked by Simon Ferry on Open Goal whether it was true he didn’t want Keane, Strachan said: “Not at all. I just wanted to make sure Roy knew, when he came up here, that he understood he hadn’t played in six weeks and that my team were playing well.

“[Stiliyan] Petrov was on fire, [Shunsuke] Nakamura was on fire so I told him I didn’t want to upset that, but there would be a place for him. There would absolutely be a window for him, I just wanted to know he was prepared to wait.

“He just kind of nodded and that was enough.

“I got on great for him and I still get on great with him to this day.”

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