International attacker issues come and get me plea to Celtic, hopeful deal can be made
By Matt Farr
USA international Darlington Nagbe admits he has not lost all hope of moving to Celtic.
The Portland Timbers was in talks with the Scottish club over a potential £3million move earlier this month, but the two clubs could not come to an agreement and the deal collapsed.
The 26-year-old midfielder had travelled to the club to watch Celtic take on Barcelona in the Champions League group-stage back in November, and the Scottish Premiership leaders hoped they could push through a deal.
However, with the deal seemingly dead in the water, Celtic have since moved to sign 19-year-old midfielder Kouassi Eboue, who is still awaiting a work-permit before he can officially represent the club.
Flattered by the interest shown in him by Brendan Rodgers, Nagbe admitted he would be happy to discuss a move to Scotland again in the future.
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He told the Daily Record: “I’m here at Timbers right now and if it doesn’t happen [a move to Celtic] then I am looking forward to playing again for Portland.
“If it does happen with Celtic then great. It was amazing that Celtic showed interest in me.
“They wanted me to come over for their game against Barcelona in the Champions League. I checked it out and enjoyed it – it was one of the best atmospheres I have ever experienced. It was great.”
Nagbe contributed one goal and five assists from 28 appearances in all competitions for Portland last season, and Rodgers saw him as a valuable potential asset to his treble-chasing squad.
Celtic are currently cruising towards their sixth consecutive Premiership title, having already lifted the League Cup title earlier in the campaign.
Their Scottish Cup campaign begins on Sunday when they take on Albion Rovers, and they will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten domestic run since Rodgers took the helm in the summer.
In other Celtic transfer news, Mikael Lustig has agreed a new deal with the Hoops.