Ian Has His Harte Set On Celtic Deal After Snubbing Buddies

Daniel CameronContributor IFebruary 6, 2009

Republic of Ireland international left back Ian Harte has set his sights on joining SPL Champions Celtic after performing a sensational u-turn and pulling the plug on his move to fellow SPL side St. Mirren, it can be exclusively revealed.

Harte, 31, said today: "I just didn't feel it was the right move for me and I've had a long chat with Gus MacPherson to explain that. Now I'm just looking for another club."

Only yesterday, the former Leeds United, Levante and Sunderland defender explained that he hoped to use his move to St Mirren in order to engineer a longer term transfer to Celtic.

"It's every Irish lad's dream to play for Celtic. As I'm from the Republic they were always one of the teams I followed. I'd always look for their results first on a Saturday.

"So, yes, it's always been a dream of mine to play for them.

"I did get close a couple of years ago. Gordon called and said he was interested in signing me.

"I don't know if that was my one and only chance of getting to Celtic but hopefully it's not too late."

The chance may come sooner than Ian Harte could have envisaged.

It's fair to say that Gordon Strachan has been put on red alert after Harte's claims, which has resulted in the players agent advising him to pull out of the St Mirren deal.

Celtic have found the left back berth problematic since Strachan's arrival at the club, and only have one recognised left back, Englishman Lee Naylor on the books. Indeed, midfielder Barry Robson and right back Mark Wilson have deputised in that position in recent weeks.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Harte fits the bill of a left back of proven pedigree that most supporters desire.

Harte, released by Blackpool, can be signed outwith the transfer window as he is currently unattached.