Dundee new boy Steven Caulker has confirmed he nearly joined Celtic last year - but revealed why he turned down the chance to be reunited with former boss Brendan Rodgers.
Caulker, released by Queens Park Rangers last month, played under Rodgers at Swansea City during a loan spell during the 2011/12 season, and was linked with a move to Celtic in 2017.
But the 26-year-old, who signed an 18-month deal with Dundee yesterday, admitted it had been a personal decision not to join the Hoops, despite Scott Sinclair urging him to make the move and Rodgers describing him as someone ‘you would take to war with you’.
Caulker, who has battled addictions to both gambling and drinking, revealed why he had chosen to remain in London.
He said: “[Joining Celtic] came close. I decided in the end to stay in London.
“I was early on in my recovery, and I felt my support network was best in London.
“I opted out of Scotland at that moment, but I’m pleased to be up here now and it’s good to see Brendan doing really well there again.”
Hailing the capture of the former Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea defender, Dark Blues boss Neil McCann said: “He is coming here to play football and feel good about himself for the period he going to be here.
“It says a lot about the man that this is clearly not about the financial gain, because he could have earned an absolute fortune elsewhere - in China, Turkey, and down south in England.
“All I could do was give him an environment where he could feel like a footballer again, enjoy himself with no pressure from me, just come up and show how good he is.”