SIMON DONNELLY reckons the prospect of selling Nadir Ciftci to Celtic wouldn’t be “helpful” for Dundee United.
The Tannadice deputy boss admitted the side were affected by the £2million double sale of Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven to the Hoops in January.
United fans were left raging at two of the club’s top players heading to the SPFL champions and there was unrest between a faction of supporters and the board.
Ciftci had also been linked with a move to Parkhead at the turn of the year, but that transfer never materialised as Ronny Deila concentrated on midfielder Armstrong and winger Mackay-Steven.
However, the Turkish striker appears to have come on the Norwegian’s radar again, especially with John Guidetti looking less likely to extend his stay when his loan deal expires at the end of the season.
Donnelly, Jackie’s McNamara’s No.2, insisted he knew nothing of any new interest in Ciftci, but said: “All the drama that was whipped up over the stuff in January wasn’t helpful to the club, but we, as coaches and the manager, just have to try and focus on our job here.
“You are always going to have interest and speculation. We’ve had to deal with it for the two years we’ve been here.
“Nadir is a Dundee United player, so it is our job in the next five games to go and try and reach Europe and Nadir will help us do that.”
On the continued speculation, he added: “It obviously means we’re doing something right here and Nadir is doing something right.
“I’ve said before he’s a top player, on his game he’s as good as anything in this division.”
Ciftci, who has scored 14 goals in 37 matches this season, missed Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Parkhead outfit through suspension.
The 23-year-old former NAC Breda frontman also sat out the League Cup Final clash between the teams last month due to a ban following his booking after scoring the late winner against Aberdeen in the semi.
He angered Celtic supporters in the explosive 1-1 Scottish Cup draw at Tannadice last month when he appeared to clash with skipper Scott Brown while both were on the ground.
Ciftci has only one year of his contract to run and Deila may test United’s resolve with a £1.5million bid in the summer.
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