CELTIC are poised to launch a third bid to sign Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci – with the Turk now leaning towards a move to Parkhead.
Ronny Deila has already had two previous bids of £900,000 and £1million rejected by the Tannadice outfit in the past fortnight and now he will return with an improved third offer.
United are reluctant to sell to the SPFL champions after a backlash from their support following their £2million sale of Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven to the Hoops in January.
They have accepted an offer from Wigan and gave the League One club, managed by ex-Celtic skipper Gary Caldwell, permission to speak with Ciftci, but the hitman turned that opportunity down.
It is understood the 23-year-old frontman much prefers the lure of Celtic and possible Champions League football as opposed to a season in England’s third tier.
United are aware the player will have a massive say on his final destination and with the prospect of losing him for nothing as a free agent next year a worry, they may have their hand forced.
Ciftci’s agent Pierre van Hooijdonk, a former Celtic hero, has dropped the largest hint yet on his client’s mindset.
Van Hooijdonk has confirmed Ciftci is “interested” in the move to Parkhead, even though he does not want to fall out with his current employers.
The Dutchman said: “I know there’s been an accepted offer from Wigan, but Nadir has said no to that.
“Celtic have been in touch with two bids, but those have been rejected by Dundee United and that is the status at the moment.
“He is flattered by Celtic’s interest, but that is quite normal when you realise the size of
the club. Anyone would be interested.
“Our relationship with Dundee United is a very good one and we want to keep it that way.
We will just wait and see what happens over the next few days and weeks.
“At the end of the day, the player always decides what happens, in my opinion. But we are not having a big argument with Dundee United.”
With Belgian Jelle ‘Ice Cream’ Vossen on the brink of signing for Burnley, Ciftci is the main target and Celtic will be back for another crack at landing the attacker.
CQN Magazine expects Ronny Deila to get his man next week with Celtic paying a fee close to £1.3M to Dundee United for Ciftci.