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Celtic pulled plug on Conor Hazard to Dundee transfer this summer after contract dispute

Conor Hazard during his loan spell with Dundee.
Conor Hazard during his loan spell with Dundee.

Dundee were on the verge of re-signing goalkeeper Conor Hazard this summer only for Celtic to pull the plug at the last minute.

The Dark Blues were keen to take the Northern Ireland cap on loan for a third time ahead of the current season.

However, it’s understood a contract dispute between Hazard and his parent club saw the Hoops cancel the move.

The 22-year-old signed a four-year deal at Parkhead in 2017 but is yet to make a first-team appearance.

This season he is third-choice behind new signing Vasilas Barkas and former Dee Scott Bain in Neil Lennon’s squad.

With his deal running out next summer, the Glasgow giants wanted to extend the 22-year-old’s contract.

However, that was knocked back, prompting Celtic to pull the plug on a return to Dens Park.

Conor Hazard in training for Celtic.

Speaking after Dundee’s 2-0 defeat to Ayr on Saturday, Dens boss James McPake said: “We tried all summer to get another goalkeeper in. It didn’t happen. We got one this week.”

Former Birmingham and Burnley goalkeeper Adam Legzdins signed on November 13 and made his debut at Somerset Park.

However, it appears Hazard was top of the list in the summer.

The Northern Irishman first joined the Dark Blues on an emergency loan deal in October last year after Jack Hamilton was ruled out with appendicitis.

He played five games before returning again in January after impressing manager James McPake.

In his second spell, Hazard kept five clean sheets in six appearances before the season ended early and it’s understood the Dens boss was keen to bring in the goalie once more this term.

Hazard joined Celtic as a 16-year-old and has had previous spells on loan at Falkirk and Partick Thistle in the Championship.

He made his international debut for Northern Ireland in June 2018 against Costa Rica and was called up to Ian Baraclough’s most recent squad, though didn’t feature against Slovakia, Austria or Romania.

Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough.

Speaking in September to the Belfast Telegraph, Hazard said in relation to a possible call-up: “I need to play games for me to be even considered to go to that level. I need to be playing week in, week out to get that exposure to first team football.

“I had a great spell out on loan with Dundee last season which I was delighted with but obviously with Covid, that got cut short.

“I was looking to progress on that this year.

“For Ian (Baraclough) to even consider me to be in that senior group, I need to be playing and performing.”

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