Johnny Russell wanted Celtic move before Derby County switch

By David Walton

February 25, 2019

Johnny Russell has revealed that he was itching to go to Celtic before making the switch to Derby County.

Russell was heavily linked with the Parkhead side back in the summer of 2013. After scoring 46 goals in 120 appearances for Dundee United, the striker was hot property.

The striker is now plying his trade at the Kansas City Wizards in the USA. That move comes after a successful spell at Derby, where he managed 34 goals in five years.

Johnny Russell is a star in the MLS (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Speaking in Simon Ferry’s Open Goal interview (43:18), Russell revealed that he would’ve preferred the move to Parkhead before he made the switch to Championship football.

“They both offered £5ook, but Dundee United wanted more. Derby came back in with £650k.

“At the time I wanted to go to Celtic – my preference was to go to Celtic. I was wanting to know what was happening with Celtic.

“My agent said Derby had offered more and United had accepted it. But I still wanted Celtic to come back to the table and they wouldn’t budge. They wouldn’t go over £500k – I was gutted.”

Poor from the club at the time

It’s a shame to hear this. Russell has been a fine footballer since leaving Scotland and would’ve undoubtedly made a positive influence in Glasgow.

The fact that Celtic wouldn’t offer an extra £150k, given it was at a time when Champions League money was soaring through the club too, is disappointing.

This came during the time that Neil Lennon was in charge at Celtic Park. The Northern Irishman would then leave Parkhead a year later reportedly frustrated at his playing budget for the 2014-15 season.

Russell was a young talent at Dundee United (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

There could still be time for Russell to join Celtic should the opportunity come up. He’s been a star in Kansas, and rattled home 10 goals for SKC last season in the MLS.

Should he ever fancy a move back to Glasgow, he could be worth taking a punt on. But it’s disappointing to hear how close we were to getting him five-and-a-half years ago when he wanted it to happen.

Would you ever consider Russell at Parkhead in the future?