Dundee boss James McPake has revealed the Dark Blues fought off interest from another club before sealing a loan deal for striker Leigh Griffiths.
The Scotland international has returned to Dens Park on a season-long loan after 10 years away.
But it’s understood Hibs tried to whisk Griffiths back to Easter Road under the noses of the Dark Blues.
After terms had been agreed at Dens Park, the Easter Road club also had a loan bid accepted by Celtic last night.
However, Griffiths himself chose to return to Dundee after 10 years away.
‘We want to get him back to his best’
The 31-year-old is a friend of Dens boss McPake after being team-mates at both Livingston and Hibs.
And game time was likely to be a factor in the striker’s decision after a stop-start couple of years troubled by off-field matters.
McPake says the move to Dundee can help get Griffiths “back to his best”.
And he’s delighted to bring in his former Livingston and Hibs team-mate, a proven goalscorer who has netted 234 goals in 487 appearances across his career.
McPake told Sky Sports: “There was another club who came in so it was in doubt, but we are delighted he decided to come here.
“Leigh is a proven scorer at every level he’s played at.
“I have known him since he was 16 at Livingston, I was his captain when he made his debut.
“And I was his captain when he made his debut at Hibs, too.
“He is someone I know really well and I believe he still has loads to offer.
“What does he bring? Goals. That’s what he does but he’s also a better player now, his hold up play has improved now.
“He has so much to offer, we want to get him back to his best.
“I am extremely confident we can do that, I know him inside out and we know the way he works.
“There is a friendship there.”
‘We are delighted he decided to come here’
News emerged on Friday of Dundee’s desire to bring Griffiths back to the club when it was clear he wasn’t in Ange Postecoglou’s plans at Parkhead.
Griffiths didn’t feature at all for Celtic under the Australian but McPake insists his new striker will be ready to face Livingston in their next game on September 11.
“When you get a player like Leigh Griffiths, you do all you can do to get him,” McPake added.
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) August 31, 2021
“He wants to get back to scoring goals week in, week out.
“We have never been frightened to bring in those players, we had Graham Dorrans here, Charlie Adam is here.
“So Leigh will come in and add to that. We have a great blend of youth and experience.
“Leigh will fit in well, he’s a good character to have around and he works hard.
“He will be ready to go after the international break. He’s been training, we have been in constant contact with people at Celtic to see how he’s been doing.
“So he will be ready for Livingston.”