Belgian ace regrets sacrificing Celtic move for shot at title
By Matt Farr
Belgian defender Brandon Mechele has admitted he regrets snubbing Celtic’s advances two years’ ago.
The 24-year-old had been identified by former Celtic boss Ronny Deila as the ideal replacement for defender Virgil van Dijk, who left to join Southampton for £12million.
But speaking to the Daily Record, Mechele admitted that he had declined the contract offered to him by the Scottish club, in the hope of winning the league with Club Brugge.
It is understood that Celtic had already agreed a fee with the Belgian outfit in the region of £3million, and the move to Parkhead was in the hands of the player.
Mechele said: “In 2015, I decided not to move to Celtic. The reason I refused their offer was I wanted to win the championship with Brugge.
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“Six months later I was on the bench and unwanted. It was my decision and it was the wrong one.”
Since declining the opportunity to move to Scotland and become part of a squad that has already achieved great success under current chief Brendan Rodgers, the centre-back has found life difficult in his homeland.
Mechele made just five league appearances for Brugge between the end of October and the end of the 2015/16 campaign.
He then made just two first team appearances during the current campaign, before being shipped out on loan to fellow Belgian Pro League outfit Sint-Truidense.
He has since become an important player for the relegation battlers, starting seven games since his January switch, but the sacrifice he made to seek silverware with Brugge has yet to pay off.
Sint-Truidense are currently 14th in the league, just eight points clear of bottom of the table Mouscron. Brugge, meanwhile, are top.
After failing to sign Mechele, Deila opted to bring in Jozo Simunovic and Dedryck Boyata, who have both since become valuable players for the club.
In other Celtic news, Dedryck Boyata has named the club’s hardest working player in training.