Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell opened up about his failed move to Celtic a few years ago, when speaking exclusively to Open Goal.
The Scotland international was linked with a move to Celtic back in 2013, but that eventually failed to materialise.
The 28-year-old has confirmed that he wanted to join the Hoops, but his club at the time – Derby County, couldn’t agree on a fee with the Glasgow giants. Russell also revealed he wasn’t the one who turned down Celtic back then.
Russell admits he was disappointed to have missed out on joining his boyhood club. The striker was a player in demand back then, and speaking to Open Goal, he said:
“People think I turned down Celtic but it never came to that. It was Celtic or Derby. I heard about it before I went on holiday but I thought I’d just go away, enjoy myself and see what happened.
“They both offered £500k but Dundee United said: ‘That’s not enough, we want more’. And then Derby came back in with £650k.
“At the time I wanted to go Celtic, my preference was to go to Celtic. And so I’ve asked: ‘What’s happening with Celtic?’. My agent was speaking to me saying: ‘Derby have offered more and United have accepted it, what do you want to do?’.
“I still wanted Celtic to come to the table but they wouldn’t budge, they wouldn’t go over £500k. I was gutted. I know it’s a lot of money but it was £150k on top (of what they’d already offered).”
Derby Country, however, went on to sign the former Scotland international in the end.
The Championship side agreed to match Dundee’s asking price for the striker as Celtic’s two offers for Russell were rejected — an initial one of £500,000 then another for the same fee that included a fringe player, according to Daily Mail.