FORMER Celtic keeper David Marshall has revealed there was NO prospect of him returning to Parkhead in the summer.
The 35-year-old Scotland international keeper was linked with a move back to the champions as Neil Lennon searched for a new shotstopper.
Fans’ favourite Fraser Forster had apparently changed his mind about agreeing a second loan deal to remain as a reserve at Southampton while Craig Gordon quit at the end of his contract to rejoin Hearts.
That left the Hoops boss with just Scott Bain as a netminder with any first-team experience and kicked off a scramble for another goalie before the season’s Premiership kick-off on August 2. The problem position was solved with the £4.5million arrival of Vasilis Barkas from AEK Athens.
However, before the Greek No.1 signed, Marshall had been strongly tipped for a remarkable comeback after leaving the club for Norwich City in 2007 after losing his first-team place to Artur Boruc.
At the end of the season, Marshall was on the brink of leaving financially-stricken Wigan who were relegated to English League One and he eventually switched to Championship outfit Derby County where he now works with Republic of Ireland legend Shay Given.
Speaking about the Celtic rumours, the Glasgow-born keeper, who will line up for Scotland in their crucial Euro Play-Off Final against Serbia in Belgrade tomorrow night, told the Glasgow Evening Times: “It was never close.
“I signed a couple of years at Derby and I am really delighted. I just wanted to get to as high a level as I could.
“Derby are struggling at the minute, but I am confident that will turn around.”
Marshall revealed he has spoken to the 134 times-capped Given about the match in Belgrade. He added: “Shay’s been great and I’ve really settled in well at Derby.
“I enjoy working with Shay and I’m sure he’ll be on the phone before Thursday to wish me well.”