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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2004, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Celtic drop Novo interest
Nacho Novo arrives at Celtic Park
Nacho Novo was at Celtic Park for talks on Tuesday
Celtic have decided against offering a contract to Dundee striker Nacho Novo after holding signing talks.

But Dundee insist that they will not be held to ransom by Novo and Rangers, who want a reduction in the asking price.

BBC Sport believes that Celtic will not be pursuing their interest and appear not to have made a formal offer.

It seems that Celtic were left with the impression that Novo did not show the necessary level of commitment during Tuesday's talks in Glasgow.

Dundee and Celtic had agreed a 500,000 fee, while Rangers, who have had two offers rejected, have not seen fit to increase their bid further.

Rangers boss Alex McLeish appears to hope that the 25-year-old's desire to move to Ibrox will force Dundee's hand.

Nacho has never expressed a preference to us
Dundee chief executive Peter Marr
"This one is still on-going," he told his club's website. "I think it will come down to where Novo wants to go.

"I cannot say I am 100% confident that his choice will be Rangers, but I would hope that's the way he leans.

"Then Dundee have a dilemma. Do they take Rangers' offer or do they keep him for another season?"

Dundee have denied suggestions that Novo is prepared to hold out for a move to Rangers, even if it meant leaving for nothing at the end of his contract next summer.

And chief executive Peter Marr insists that he has been assured by his Celtic counterpart, Peter Lawwell, that the deal was still on the table.

Novo said: "Despite what others have said or written about me, I have not made any decision on my future.

"I have not accepted or rejected any offer from any club."

Marr, who has accused Rangers of being "short-sighted" as Novo would prove a bargain, had said: "Celtic are the only team to have made an offer for Nacho and we've accepted their offer.

"If Rangers want him to sign for them, they should come in and match what Celtic have offered, it's as simple as that.

"Like every other player, Nacho wants to get the best deal possible and probably wants to wait and see if anybody else comes in for him."

Rangers, who appear to be offering a larger salary, had increased their bid to 350,000, but that was rejected.

Novo is close friends with former Dens Park team-mate Zurab Khizanishvili, who has been at Ibrox for a season, while Gavin Rae is also now with Rangers.

Rangers angered the Tayside club when an SPL tribunal ruled they did not have to pay a fee for Georgian defender Khizanishvili and also felt the Glasgow club signed Rae for a bargain.




SEE ALSO
New Rangers Novo bid fails
25 Jun 04 |  Dundee
Celtic make Novo inquiry
15 Jun 04 |  Dundee



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