Motherwell pull the plug on Norwich City target’s move to Celtic as injury problem emerges
PUBLISHED: 12:55 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 27 June 2019
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The strangely drawn out transfer saga of Motherwell midfielder David Turnbull has taken a fresh twist, with the Norwich City target’s move to Celtic falling through.
The goal-scoring midfielder looked set to join the Scottish champions after a £3.25million deal was agreed, however Turnbull stalled on signing as Norwich had also agreed a deal with Well and he wanted to hear what the Canaries had to offer.
City's sporting director Stuart Webber has since confirmed that talks were held as Turnbull was shown around last Thursday, but that the player had his heart set on a move to Celtic.
That move for the Scottish Football Writers' Association Young Player of the Season looked set to go through, despite public comments from the Bhoys criticising the player's decision to stall after a 'magnificent' contract offer, reported to have been £12,000 a week - 20 times his current Motherwell wages.
However, a fresh twist emerged as a medical highlighted a knee issue which required surgery, with Celtic boss Neil Lennon telling the Daily Record last night that negotiations were ongoing.
"The situation is through no fault of David's. It was just something that was unforeseen," he explained. "We are still backing the lad and we want him to be part of the club, regardless of the injury.
"We are not out of it, put it that way. David might need have to go through some short-term pain for long-term progress."
However, the move now looks to have collapsed completely after Motherwell issued a statement to say their prized asset would be staying with them to have surgery.
A statement posted this lunchtime said: "David Turnbull is to remain a Motherwell player, with a proposed move to Celtic FC no longer taking place.
"An agreement was reached with the Glasgow club on 12 June, subject to the player agreeing personal terms, which he did, and undergoing a medical.
"During that medical process, an issue was identified that will require David to have immediate preventative surgery and subsequent rehabilitation.
"Celtic were still keen to sign the player despite this matter arising. But having presented revised transfer terms to Motherwell, the clubs could not reach an agreement.
"David will now remain at Fir Park and will shortly have an operation which will rule him out of any football for an extended period, the exact length to be determined following surgery.
"We will give David all the support he needs during this process. We wish him the best with his procedure and rehabilitation, and look forward to watching him play in claret and amber again in the near future."
With Turnbull set to stay with Well until January, it's unclear whether Norwich would look to resurrect a deal for Turnbull.
It seemed unlikely the midfielder would have been in Webber's plans for the Premier League, with an initial Championship loan most likely for the 19-year-old, who scored 15 goals in the Scottish Premiership last season.
Celtic responded with their own, fairly amicable, statement to say: "It is unfortunate that we were not able to proceed with the transfer of David to Celtic, having agreed a significant fee with Motherwell and reaching agreement with the player.
"It is regrettable that David will be out of action for a considerable length of time and, clearly, these circumstances are totally outwith the club's control. We did everything we could to find a solution.
"We would like to thank David and his representatives for the professionalism they have shown throughout. We also thank Motherwell FC for the way they have handled this process.
"We wish David all the very best with the operation and every success for the future."
- You can watch Webber's description of the Turnbull situation from late last week, when he spoke to Talk Norwich City, in the video above