Report: Gary Mackay-Steven available for £250k; why he must pick Celtic transfer

Celtic are reportedly interested in Dundee United winger Gary Mackay-Steven - but so are English clubs.

Reports from the BBC on Tuesday night suggested that Celtic wanted to sign Dundee United winger Gary Mackay-Steven on a pre-contract agreement.

Just a matter of hours after that report was released, Celtic manager Ronny Deila confirmed to press, as reported by the Daily Record, that he was interested in signing the 24-year-old winger.

"So far as I know we haven’t made an offer for anybody. So that’s news to me. We are looking at the best Scottish players but we have not done anything," said Deila, speaking about the alleged pre-contract offer.

"He is one of the players who have done well and we are looking but we have not done anything official," added the Norwegian.

Mackay-Steven failed to make an impact with Liverpool or Fulham in his youth, but has rebuilt his career in Scotland with Airdrie United and now Dundee United.

With 21 goals in 108 games, the Scottish international is hot property this month, with Sheffield United having an £80,000 bid rejected for the winger on Tuesday, as mentioned in the Daily Record story above.

In a separate BBC report, they suggest that Dundee United have slapped a £250,000 price tag on the winger, with his contract set to expire in just six months time.

That's well within Celtic's budget, though it may not even matter if the Bhoys pursue a pre-contract agreement, where he would sign on a free transfer in the summer.

Yet Mackay-Steven could have other offers on the table. The interest from Sheffield United shows no signs of disappearing, but if it comes down to a decision between the two clubs, he must pick Celtic.

The Bhoys can offer European football, a 60,000 stadium in Celtic Park and the chance to play for the biggest club in Scotland.

In comparison, Sheffield Untied are languishing in League One, and lie 15 points off the automatic promotion places in the third tier of English football, so there isn't even any guarantee that the Blades will be in the Championship next season.

With Celtic needing a winger, it's obvious that a move to the Bhoys would be better than a move to Bramall Lane - but having struggled in England in his youth, he may well fancy another crack south of the border.

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