Scottish champions Celtic capture Dundee United frontman Ciftci
In-form Dundee United frontman Nadir Ciftci has become the third Terrors player to leave for Parkhead in six months, with the 23-year-old agreeing a four-deal deal to join Scottish Premiership champions Celtic, after an undisclosed fee was accepted for his services.
The Turkey Under-19 international’s previous deal was set to expire in May 2016 but, after two seasons at Tannadice Park, the highly-regarded striker earlier rejected the chance to sign a one-year extension, paving the way for Ronny Deila’s Bhoys to snap him up (odds-on 1/25 with Coral to retain 2015/16 title).
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) July 9, 2015
Having arrived at the Scottish outfit in 2013 from NAC Breda, clinical Ciftci has gone on to strike an impressive 33 goals in all competitions for the club, including 16 this term under the guidance of boss Jackie McNamara, and follows midfield duo Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong in making such a switch to Glasgow.
After rising to goalscoring prominence with the Terrors and reportedly attracting interest from League One side Wigan, Ciftci previously outlined that his intentions were always to depart, claiming he was aiming to “seek a new challenge” after his time with the club.
“After extending my two-year contract in December 2013 with an extra year, I have decided that after my time at Dundee United I will be looking for a new challenge,” stated the Turkish striker.
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) June 9, 2015
“I’m satisfied with my development so far and therefore I must thank the coaching staff who played a big part in that. I would also like to thank the fans and the club, who have always been behind me.”
Champions Celtic will now discuss personal terms with the marksman, who managed to strike past them in both Scottish Cup and Premiership clashes last season, but the feisty forward could have severed interest after being involved in a heated Dundee derby earlier in the year.
Ciftci was at the centre of a biting row when both Dundee sides met on home soil, but Hoops boss Deila has made no secret of his admiration for the talented poacher and has significantly boosted the Bhoys’ attacking ranks for next term (500/1 for 2015/16 CL).
The controversial centre forward played for Kayserispor and Portsmouth before joining former club Breda, and was also capped at Under-17 level for the Netherlands, before opting to feature permanently for his home nation of Turkey.
In Ciftci’s first two seasons in Scotland, United have rallied to fourth and fifth place finishes in the top flight, reaching the 2014 Scottish Cup final and this term’s League Cup final, which he was suspended for.
The new Hoops forward has grown a reputation for his aggressive nature on the pitch, having picked up 11 bookings and one dismissal this campaign, but his new side are will hope to get the best out of him in his maiden campaign in green and white.