The truth in contract disputes is usually muddied by claim and counterclaim, but with David Turnbull, Celtic decided to go public in order to take control of the narrative.
The surprise tweets on Friday night essentially accused the Motherwell player’s agent of asking for too much money. It seems to have had the desired effect in ramping up the pressure on the midfielder to make a decision.
According to the Evening Times (who have clearly decided to look at things from Turnbull’s perspective), the 19-year-old isn’t necessarily looking for the highest salary, rather, he wants guaranteed first-team football.
At Parkhead, he clearly won’t be a regular straight away, and that may have led to him looking for other options, specifically in the English Championship where Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City and Barnsley are all reportedly interested.
With the Tykes the only side to have reportedly made an offer; a proposal not said to be close to Celtic’s £3m bid, it appears Turnbull currently only has one offer on the table.
With an agent trying to ramp up interest from other clubs in order to generate a bidding war, it appears the Hoops then decided to go public with their ‘take or leave it’ demand.
It was an uncharacteristic step, to say the least, from CEO Peter Lawwell, but with past mistakes in the transfer market still fresh in his mind, it’s likely that he wants to get this deal over the line as soon as possible.
Putting pressure on Turnbull is a high-risk strategy. You risk the player snubbing you, but with no other deal on the table, the teenager may realise he could miss out on a transfer of a lifetime.
Of course, nothing is set in stone yet, and there could be a few twists and turns before the conclusion of this saga. English clubs could yet come in late to hijack the deal, but the latest indications are that the midfielder is now ready to sign on the dotted line following the weekend to consider his future.
It appears the negotiation ploy has indeed worked for Celtic, and he could well be the club’s first summer signing. Whether Turnbull will be able to win back the favour of Hoops fans, it remains to be seen, but the club may well have secured a player with a lot of potential.