GARY CALDWELL reckons Celtic-bound Nadir Ciftci can go to the top of the game – despite the Wigan boss missing out in the £1.3million race to sign the Dundee United striker.
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The former Hoops skipper admitted he had pushed the boat out in a bid to get the Turk to spearhead his side’s bid to return to the Championship.
However, although their offer was similar to the one from his old club and had been accepted by the Tannadice outfit, Cifti turned them down in favour of a move to Parkhead.
The 23-year-old is expected to be announced as Ronny Deila’s latest acquisition at some stage today after agent Pierre van Hooijdonk spent yesterday locked in talks with the SPFL champions.
Caldwell said: “Ciftci is a young player with massive potential, first and foremost. I said to him: ‘I believe at this club you can become better.’ I think at the minute he has the materials to become a top No 9 or 10. He can play in both positions.
“He’s got pace, he can score goals, he’s a good size and has good physical presence. He’s going to go on to be a great player and, at 23, he’s still got a lot of years ahead of him. We wanted to try and buy the potential for him to be a really great player.
“We did everything as a club, we made a massive offer for a League One club to Dundee United.
“We made a big offer to him as a player. From my point of view, we couldn’t have done any more and I thank Wigan for their efforts to get a player I wanted. If he wants to go elsewhere then I have to respect that and we have to move on to another target.”
Comeback midfielder Liam Henderson insisted Ciftci will be a hit at Parkhead. He said: “He’s scored a lot of goals and is a big, strong guy with a lot of skill.”
Meanwhile, Belgian goalkeeper Logan Bailly, who completed his ‘dream’ move from OH Leuven yesterday, became the Hoops’ third new summer arrival following central defender Dedryk Boyata, from Manchester City, and right-back Saidy Janko, from Manchester United.
The 29-year-old international could make his first appearance in the friendly against Davie Moyes’ Spanish outfit Real Sociedad at St Mirren Park tomorrow night.