Nadir Ciftci: Celtic sign Dundee United striker for £1.5m

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Sport
Nadir Ciftci and agent Pierre van Hooijdonk with the Celtic No.7 jersey
Nadir Ciftci and agent Pierre van Hooijdonk

Nadir Ciftci says he is relishing the pressure of playing for Celtic after completing his £1.5m switch from Scottish Premiership rivals Dundee Utd.

The 23-year-old Turkish striker has signed a four-year contract.

"Pressure is nice to have," said Ciftci. "You'll be remembered if you do well here and I want to do well.

"Everybody knows how big a club it is. I knew it even before I came to Scotland and I'm sure I'll understand it even more now."

United had rejected two earlier offers from Celtic, who increased their offer a second time after Ciftci had turned down a move to Wigan Athletic.

The English League One club had been given permission to speak to the Turk after they matched United's valuation.

Ciftic said the Scottish champions were always his first choice and he will now wear a number seven jersey made famous by the likes of Henrik Larsson.

"It's a favourite number of mine," said the player who represented the Netherlands and Turkey at youth level and has former Celtic striker Pierre van Hooijdonk as his agent.

Nadir Ciftci
Ciftci has scored 33 goals in two seasons with Dundee United

"I know what this number means for this club and the players who have worn it before, so it's an honour and a pleasure for me to wear it here too."

Ciftci, who began his career with Portsmouth before a spell with Kayserispor, moved to Tannadice from Dutch club Breda in 2013 and went on to score 33 goals in two seasons.

However, he recently turned down the offer of a contract extension, leaving him with a year to run on his contract.

Ciftci becomes the third United player to join Celtic in the last six months, midfielders Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong having switched to Glasgow in January.

"I had two great seasons there and I'm really thankful for that," he said. "It's tough to leave, but I'm looking forward now."

Ciftci is due to answer a charge of "excessive misconduct" later in July after the Scottish FA accused him of biting Dundee midfielder Jim McAlister on the leg during the final match of last season.

However, he refused to discuss the upcoming hearing at which he faces a possible lengthy suspension.

Ciftci becomes Celtic manager Ronny Deila's fourth signing of the summer, with goalkeeper Logan Bailly and defenders Dedryck Boyata and Saidy Janko agreeing deals with the Parkhead club.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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