Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp has claimed that he had no interest in leaving the Blades in January, despite being linked with a move to Celtic.
The Daily Star reported that the forward turned down a loan move to Parkhead. That was despite the fact his manager had told him he could leave the club if he wanted. Sharp wanted to stay and fight for his place instead.
This all came before Celtic signed Patryk Klimala from Jagiellonia Bialystok too. Yet Sharp never came out and commented on the speculation during January.
Now he has done. Speaking to the Star, Sharp admitted that he did have offers in January but was never going to accept any of them.
“I never got my chance to say my bit about my future. I’d have put it to bed from day one. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I told the gaffer that and he told the press he didn’t want me to go anywhere, but it was opened up a little bit by him saying ‘if he wants to go…’
“If I had my chance, I’d have said ‘it doesn’t matter who comes in’. I had a lot of interest, which is always nice, but I am part of this club and I want to finish my career here.
I had some great offers from other clubs in January, but I’m trying to score goals in the Premier League.”
Sharp would only have been a short-term fix
Sharp has a decent record in England. He’s scored over 100 goals in both League One and the Championship down south (Transfermarkt). That’s some going.
However, he isn’t the kind of signing Celtic are known for making. He’s 34 and has only scored two goals all season for Sheffield. Even if a loan move did go through, Sharp would hardly be viewed as a long-term investment for the Hoops.
The difference in profile between himself and Klimala is eye-catching. The Polish striker arrives as a 22-year-old with plenty of potential and development ahead of him. The same can’t be said of Sharp, who’s now into his twilight years as a footballer.
But you also can’t blame Sharp for his decision either, if he did indeed turn Celtic down. He’s been working throughout his career to reach the Premier League. It’s probably his be-all and end-all in football. Now that he has that opportunity, you can understand him not wanting to lose it.
It does come as a tad odd that his manager was clearly open to him leaving. It sounds as though the player himself was the one to totally dismiss the interest as opposed to the manager. Usually, it’s the other way around.
However, Celtic fans won’t be too upset at missing out on this one. Sharp would never have been playing ahead of Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths anyway.