A former Celtic youth star has revealed how Brendan Rodgers was left fuming by one of his former Liverpool players who he tried to bring to Parkhead.
Paul McGowan came through the Celtic youth ranks but never managed to make his mark at Parkhead. The midfielder made just 8 appearances in his five seasons in the senior side albeit three of them were spent away on loan at Greenock Morton, Hamilton Academical and St Mirren, respectively.
Ultimately he sealed a permanent move away to St Mirren and has since moved to Dundee FC where he has established himself as a first-team regular. And while he was never at Parkhead during the reign of Brendan Rodgers, he still has an anecdote about the Northern Irish manager thanks to former teammate Steven Caulker.
Rodgers had managed Caulker during his loan spell at Liverpool and was interested in bringing him to Celtic as well, with him struggling at Queen’s Park Rangers. But the defender rejected a move to Parkhead and decided to stay in England.
This was even confirmed by the player himself in an interview with The Scotsman back in 2017:
“[Joining Celtic] came close. I decided in the end to stay in London.
“I was early on in my recovery, and I felt my support network was best in London.
“I opted out of Scotland at that moment, but I’m pleased to be up here now and it’s good to see Brendan doing really well there again.”
While Caulker put down the rejection to his recovery, McGowan claims that it was the financial aspect of the move that ended up with him opting to stay at the more financially lucrative Queen’s Park Rangers.
Speaking to the Opengoal Podcast, McGowan said:
“What he was getting here (at Celtic) wasn’t making a year of what he was getting at QPR.”
“He told Brendan he wasn’t signing and Brendan was fuming at him.”
Brendan Rodgers left the Hoops hanging in the middle of the season a little over a year ago to move to Leicester City so the Celtic fans will clearly not be too concerned about his feelings regarding a failed move. Steven Caulker did not break any new ground when he eventually moved to Scotland either, with Dundee FC.
So the only side who came out of the situation in good shape are Celtic, saving themselves a lot of money and an empty space in the squad.