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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 June, 2005, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Strachan rejects McNamara claims
Manager Gordon Strachan refutes claims that Jackie McNamara's move to Wolves was down to Celtic not doing enough to keep their captain.

"Jackie was the first player I spoke to face-to-face after arriving here," Strachan told the club website.

"And I made it clear not only that I wanted him at the club but also what I wanted and expected from him over the next couple of seasons.

"It's not fair to say Jackie wasn't wanted here. He was more than wanted."

McNamara was unhappy with Celtic's approach to negotiations and agreed a two-year deal with Wolves on Tuesday.

"Everything appeared to be progressing quite well in the discussions until, all of a sudden, we got a call on Monday to say that, if Jackie didn't get what he wanted by five o'clock, he'd be off," added Strachan.

"In the years I've had in management I can't ever remember a player setting a deadline like that.

I'm working hard to bring the best players I possibly can to this club
Gordon Strachan

"We reacted to it, even though the squeezing timescale was far from ideal, and agreed before the deadline to give him an increased offer.

"I thought that was it done, but then his agent came back asking for a lot more. Then we got a call at six o' clock on Monday to say Jackie would be signing for Wolves."

Meanwhile, Strachan is in Poland to watch Wisla Krakow trio Maciej Zurawski, Tomasz Klos and Marcin Baszcyzinski in cup semi-final action.

BBC Sport understands Strachan is keen on 2m-rated international striker Zurawski, along with defenders Klos and Baszcyzinski.

Celtic need to rebuild after the departures of McNamara, Robert Douglas Momo Sylla and Paul Lambert - but Strachan insists that he will take his time in the transfer market.

"What I've learned in my time in management is not to rush things in that respect," said Strachan.

"If I'm being honest, I've probably been guilty of that on couple of occasions and have ended up regretting it.

"Here, I intend taking my time. But we're certainly active on the transfer side of things, and I'm working hard to bring the best players I possibly can to this club."




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