Celtic manager Ronny Deila has warned Sheffield United target Gary Mackay-Steven will be making a grave mistake if he chooses Bramall Lane over Parkhead, writes James Shield.
Deila issued the threat after dealing Nigel Clough’s hopes of signing the Dundee United forward a huge blow by revealing he expects to meet both the player and his representative “within the next couple of days” to thrash-out a pre-contract agreement.
United had two bids for Mackay-Steven rejected earlier this week after Tannadice’s board of directors insisted he would not be allowed to leave during the transfer window for less than £250,000.
But sources in Scotland told The Star last night that Celtic, aware the 24-year-old’s deal expires at the end of the season, believe a nominal sum will secure his release should those talks reach a positive conclusion.
“I think it’s safer for him and it’s safer for us,” Deila said. “We want to be the best club to develop players and that’s going to be a good thing for him as well.
“I think it’s a good step to go through. Keep yourself in Scotland, do well here with Celtic and in Europe, then your chances will be even bigger.
“Celtic sells itself as well because everyone knows about it.”
“We will hopefully get that done. We have sent a letter to Dundee United saying we want to look at him.
“That’s where it stands. First of all we have to get him to sign and then we’ll take it from there.”
Deila added: “The best situation is getting him now but again it’s about money. First he has to say yes.
“I think that’s the way (a pre-contract) you have to do it. If you don’t know if the player wants it then it’s harder to agree between the clubs.
“He’s a player I like, he’s quick, can go in behind, go past people. He has a good understanding of the game and suits our style of playing.”