Dundee boss Neil McCann has explained why the club released Steven Caulker from his contract late on Friday night.
The Dark Blues announced the former England international defender had departed Dens in a brief statement on the club website just before midnight saying: “Steven has triggered a release clause in his contract to leave before the end of the transfer window in search of a new challenge.”
Back in April, McCann revealed that Dundee had turned down a seven-figure bid from an unnamed club for the player.
However, Caulker has now left for nothing with the manager saying: “When a player decides he doesn’t want to be here and he wants to leave to try another challenge, then you can’t hold someone prisoner.
“He was contracted to the club until the summer, but he was strong that he wanted to go.
“He’s the type of character that I’m trying to weigh up if we keep a player who doesn’t want to be here, does he become an influence within the dressing-room we don’t need?
“We spoke to Steven, he wanted to go and the club took the decision that was right.
“We would have loved some money for him. He was on a big, big wage for this club.
“We managed to strengthen in that department and he goes with our best wishes because to get someone of Steven’s stature to our club was a great signing, particularly when we lost Jack Hendry.
“It’s a testament to him and the club that we did turn down a big bid, but at that time he had a bit of love back for the game.
“He helped keep our Premiership status and he goes with our best wishes.”