Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara last night called the Nadir Ciftci deal “too good an offer to turn down” for both club and player.
Ciftci is today expected to be unveiled as a Celtic player, their third recruit from Tannadice in under six months after the double deal for Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong at the end of January transfer window.
The Tangerines would, of course, rather their frontman had gone elsewhere given the circumstances but the Hoops’ £1.5 million bid was accepted by them and the Turk will be granted his wish.
McNamara said last night: “Nadir is down speaking to Celtic, having a medical and we expect him to sign tomorrow.
“He was in his last year so it was too good an offer to turn down.
“As time went on and after he made it clear he wasn’t going to sign again, it became hard to stop him.
“In January he would have been free to sign for someone else and there’s also the disciplinary thing hanging over him.
“So it was a case of him signing now or in January.
“For a guy we brought in on a trial two years ago and signed for free, it’s a great bit of business for the club.
“Look at the fees for Johnny Russell and Stevie May, two strikers around the same age, and you see how good a deal this is for United.
“I’m disappointed to lose Nadir because you always want to keep your better players.
“The fans want to see everyone still at the club and I’m the same.
“But the club has had a strategy from a few years back and we have to stick to it.
“Things were done another way 10 years ago or so and it didn’t work.
“There will be negativity about another one leaving but I see it from the other side because I believe in what we’re doing.
“In the next three, four, five years this club will be in a very strong position.
“I know it’s hard for some people because they want to see faces but you can’t buy success you have to create it.”
McNamara stressed last week that he was happy with his squad but that was when Ciftci was still part of it.
So what will happen now?
He replied: “I am looking at one or two positions to strengthen.
“We are away to Holland soon so we’ll see where we are with a few of them.
“If we feel there are ones who are not going to do it for us, we’ll know in the next two weeks.
“After that we’ll know if we need to knock the door and ask for some money.”
Indeed, United have a defender lined up and an Italian winger played against Arbroath in their Forfarshire Cup tie at Gayfield last night.
Also, they are set to play a third game in the Netherlands, with AZ Alkmaar the likely opposition next Tuesday but with details still to be finalised.
That would give them a tough schedule of Vitesse Arnhem on Friday, then AZ before facing Utrecht the following Thursday.