Jackie McNamara discusses Nadir Ciftci's future, admits he doesn't want striker joining Celtic

Dundee United Tannadice

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara doesn't want Nadir Ciftci to sign for Celtic.

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara has told Sky Sports that he can't tell Nadir Ciftci who to sign for - but would rather he didn't choose Celtic.

Ciftci, 23, hit 16 goals last season, proving just why he is considered to be one of Scottish football's most deadly strikers in the process.

The Turkish forward is now in demand though, with his contract at Tannadice set to expire in a year's time - meaning onlooking clubs are hoping to land a bargain.

Sky Sports note that Wigan Athletic have made a bid of £1m for the former Portsmouth man, whilst also suggesting that Celtic have had a £900,000 bid rejected.

Dundee United sold star players Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven to Celtic in January, and will surely be wary of selling yet another key figure to their Scottish Premiership rivals.

Now, manager McNamara has told Sky Sports that, having helped develop Ciftci into the player he is, he'd rather the player didn't join the Bhoys this summer, or next summer when he becomes a free agent.

"Obviously he is going into his last season so that’s the difficult part from the club's point of view. For me obviously I’d like to keep him but for the lad himself it will always come down to what the player wants to do," said McNamara. "I don’t think it’s for me to pick and choose (where Ciftci plays next season), as I said it’s down to the player.

"Obviously you don’t want old players playing against you because we took Nadir two years ago and we’ve worked really hard with him. We took him on trial and have turned him into a top-class player so obviously the last thing we want is him is playing against us, but that’s up to the player and we’ll see what his preference is and whether he leaves now or next summer," he added.

Instant rapport

Ciftci flourished alongside Armstrong and Mackay-Steven during their time together at Dundee United, and should Ciftci end up joining Celtic, the trio could resurrect that connection.

Having two prominent players who used to feed him opportunities at Dundee United would be a great way to help Ciftci settle in at Celtic, and may well have played into manager Ronny Deila's thinking.

It will be tough to persuade Dundee United to sell Ciftci to them considering their stance, but with his contract expiring in a year's time, they may end up being forced to sell him for a knockdown price.

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