Former Celtic star and current pundit Davie Provan has told The Scottish Sun that he thinks James Forrest's contract snub shows just how Scottish football is deteriorating.
Forrest, 24, has been with Celtic for the entirety of his professional career, but has rejected a new contract to stay with the club, as manager Ronny Deila told the Glasgow Evening Times last week.
With his contract expiring later this year, Forrest appears set for the Celtic exit, though it's unclear whether he'll be moving on to the Premier League or the Championship, with a move to England most likely right now.
Some will question Forrest's decision to turn his back on Celtic for a possible move to England's second tier, but it's now seen as a sign of where Scottish football is heading - and former Bhoys ace Davie Provan believes that's the case.
Speaking to The Scottish Sun, Provan suggested that it's unlikely Forrest will earn a move to the Premier League having failed to nail down a regular first-team place at Celtic, and believes it's far more likely that the Scotland international will have to settle for a move to a Championship club.
However, Provan is concerned that Championship clubs may be seen as more attractive propositions than Celtic, but thinks the writing has been on the wall for some time now.
Provan pointed to Owen Coyle and Everton boss Roberto Martinez - who held talks with Celtic back in 2009 before he chose a deal with Wigan Athletic, as reported by BBC Sport - as examples of how Celtic's stock has fallen in recent years.
"When a player is swapping the Scottish champions for lower-league football in England, it reflects poorly on both Celtic and Scottish football," said Provan. "When Scotland’s biggest club is seen as less attractive than the English Championship, alarm bells should be ringing. Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps Forrest will find himself rubbing shoulders with Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa next season, but I doubt it. More likely he’ll be running out at Preston and Brentford."
"While Scottish football shrinks, the Championship puts our game in the shade. The writing has been on the wall for long enough. Hoops-daft Owen Coyle’s decision to reject the Celtic job in favour of Burnley said it all. Roberto Martinez preferred the Wigan job when made the same offer. Likewise, Forrest must look at the Scottish scene and wonder where it’s headed," he added.
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