"A lot of nonsense"; Chris Wilder rubbishes Riley McGree Celtic narrative
Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder has rubbished reports that Riley McGree snubbed Celtic because of money.
McGree is set to sign for Boro imminently, who are awaiting international clearance.
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has admitted that the Bhoys had conversations about signing the player, but he’s chosen to stay in the English Championship.
Reports indicated this was due to the money on offer, but Wilder has shot that down.
As quoted by Football Scotland, he said: “There is a lot of nonsense being written which I need to get to the bottom of in terms of blowing other clubs out of the water with fees and in terms of wages.
“That’s not just with Riley, that’s with Flo [Balogun] and with Aaron Connolly too. We’ve been into these players for a while now and we’ve understood the deals and situations, and as happens, these boys have other clubs coming in for them.
“But genuinely, if you ask those three players where they wanted to come and where they wanted to be, they’ve got their opinion. You can say, of course they’re going to say that, but I genuinely believe they do want to be here, especially in Riley’s case.
“I’ve known about him for a while and it speaks volumes about the hard work we put in. I don’t believe they’re coming because of a financial point of view. We are competitive and we have been competitive, but I think there are a lot of other things that have swayed why these boys have wanted to come here.”
Ultimately we could be left in the dark on McGree’s real reasons for choosing Middlesbrough.
Ange suggested there was a breakdown on the Celtic side too when it became apparent he wasn’t jumping at the chance to move to Glasgow.
He may have one eye on the English Premier League and sees Boro as a viable route to that ambition.
None of it really matters to Celtic now, to be honest. If the player doesn’t want to be at Celtic then so be it. Everyone will move on.
Hopefully, the Bhoys boss finds the man he wants in attacking midfield eventually.