Sheffield United target Gary Mackay-Steven has signed a pre-contract agreement with Celtic.
The Scottish champions made the announcement this morning following talks between the 24-year-old and Parkhead chief Ronny Deila.
“Celtic are delighted to announce that Gary Mackay-Steven has signed a pre-contract agreement and he will join the club this summer,” read a statement on the club’s website. “Everyone at Celtic welcomes Gary to the club.”
United manager Nigel Clough saw two bids for Mackay-Steven, whose contract with Dundee United expires at the end of the present campaign, rejected by Tannadice’s board of directors earlier this month. However the player’s parent club insisted he would not be allowed to depart during the transfer window for less than £250,000.
However, Celtic are expected to try and secure his early release by offering a cut-price sum as compensation following this morning’s announcement.
“I think that’s the way you have to do it,” Deila explained last night. “If you don’t know if the player wants it then it’s harder to agree between the clubs.
“When you have the opportunity, you go for the player and see what can be arranged.”
“That is the best situation but again it’s about money,” Deila continued. “First he has to say yes.”
Mackay-Steven, who was born in Thurso, started his career with Ross County before spells with Liverpool and Fulham. He moved to Tayside in July 2011 following a brief spell at Airdrie.