This may be real reason McGree snubbed Celtic offer - ex-Middlesbrough man
Noel Whelan has claimed Riley McGree may have wanted to remain in the Championship after snubbing Celtic to join Middlesbrough.
The former Boro striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 23-year-old made his decision based on “location and league standards”.
Middlesbrough confirmed McGree’s capture from Charlotte FC on Friday (14 January).
A recruitment source told Football Insider on Wednesday (12 January) Boro had hijacked Celtic’s talks with the midfielder and made a more lucrative contract offer than the Scottish giants.
Hoops boss Ange Postecoglou confirmed on Thursday (13 January) the Glasgow giants had held discussions with McGree.
Whelan suggested the chance to remain in England and push for promotion may have come into McGree’s thinking.
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Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “The fact he’s been playing in the Championship already, it’s probably an easier move for him to go to Middlesbrough.
“Middlesbrough are a great side, great facilities and up there looking to get back into the Premier League. That’s where everybody wants to play.
“Being an ex-Middlesbrough player, I know the chairman and how good he is. I know how good the club is and how good the supporters are.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity. When you’ve got those two big clubs like Celtic and Middlesbrough, I think sometimes it just comes down to location and league standards.
” I think that’s the only thing it is. You’re playing in a very competitive league in the Championship. He probably feels that Middlesbrough was the best move for him.
“It’s no disgrace to the manager by turning down that move. I think it just comes down to personal thoughts and where you want to be at this time in your career.”
McGree spent the entire of last season and the first half of this campaign on loan at Birmingham City.
He has 28 Championship appearances under his belt so far.