Celtic manager Ronny Deila has apologised to Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara over the ongoing Gary Mackay-Steven saga.
24-year-old winger Mackay-Steven has agreed to join Celtic on a free transfer this summer when his Dundee United contract expires, but Deila's comments over wanting to bring him to Celtic Park this month irked rival McNamara - forcing Deila to issue an apology in a press conference today, as reported by the BBC.
"I just have to say sorry if I have offended him in any way," said Deila. "It's not a rule I have heard about before, so I have to learn from this."
Dundee United understandably want to prevent Mackay-Steven from leaving the club this month given that they lie just four points behind Celtic in the Scottish Premiership, but Deila again addressed the situation of Mackay-Steven potentially arriving six months ahead of schedule, saying that whilst they'd like him now, they are willing to wait until he arrives this summer.
"We will see. We know we have him from the summer and it's not in our hands. Dundee United are doing well, too, and I understand that they want to keep their squad. I was at a smaller club in Norway and everyone wanted my players all the time, so I am used to this," said the Norwegian.
Dundee United reportedly wanted £250,000 in order to part with Mackay-Steven this month, but given the increasing hostility between the two clubs, that asking price may rise in a bid to ward Celtic off.