James McFadden reveals reason behind two failed transfers to Celtic

Celtic wished to sign James McFadden from Everton in 2008. Picture: Getty
Celtic wished to sign James McFadden from Everton in 2008. Picture: Getty
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James McFadden has revealed that he twice came close to signing for Celtic in 2008 and 2011.

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The Scottish international was a boyhood Celtic fan but has never pulled on the famous green and white hoops in his 17-year career.

This was despite the attacker speaking to the club on two separate occasions as he moved between sides in the English Premier League.

Each time he failed to agree personal terms with Celtic, choosing instead to sign for Birmingham in 2008 before rejoining Everton three years later.

He told Simon Ferry’s show for Open Goal: “The reason I didn’t go there was money.

“I went to the manager first and he wanted to give me a new contract but I told him I wanted to leave.

“Celtic came in with a loan offer and he said to me ‘Why don’t you sign an extension and I’ll let you go on loan’. That wasn’t going to solve anything because I was still going to have a year contract when I came back and I wanted to play.

“Again [in 2011], Celtic wanted to sign me but they were wanting me to go up and train as well.

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“I said ‘fine’ but they said the manager wasn’t in because they had a European game so I would be training with the young boys. I said ‘Well, I’m not signing for Celtic’s Under-20s. Who’s going to watch me?’ They said somebody would be there and said ‘We’ll do some tests as well.’ I told them Wolves were going to send up all the medical stuff, scans, tests etc. They said ‘No, no, no. We’ll find something for you to do.

“It didn’t feel right and then we got down to the contract. Wolves had offered me a deal until the end of the season and so had Celtic but I didn’t get appearance money if I came off the bench.

“The contract was more to do with appearances and I said ‘Well, if I come off the bench and score the winner, I’ve contributed. They said ‘That’s not how it works’.

“Everton offered me a year’s contract with a two-year option so I had to take it and to be fair, because I felt as if I left a wee bit too early, I wanted to go back.”

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