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Glasgow Live
Glasgow Live
Matthew Fulton

Josip Juranovic details Celtic transfer exit options as he reveals why he chose Union over 'bigger' clubs

Josip Juranovic admits he had other offers on the table to leave Celtic but that Union Berlin was his natural choice.

The Croatian defender ended a successful 18-month spell in Glasgow this week by sealing a move to the high-flying Bundesliga side in a package worth around £10m to the Scottish Champions. Juranovic looked set to exit Parkhead when the news broke last month that contract talks with Ange Postecoglou's men had broken down over fresh terms.

The 27-year-old was being linked with interest to Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea but plumped for the German capital and made an instant impact on his debut - assisting to win the game against Werder Bremen. And the defender is gushing over his time spent in Postecoglou's team but admitted Union offered him a pathway he could not turn down.

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He said: "I don't want to talk about the names of the clubs, but I will tell you that we had several options on the table. Some of those clubs were - I don't know how else to say it - much bigger than Union Berlin.

"But I would have gone to these clubs as a back-up option and I was not interested in that. Not because I'm afraid of competition, but because I want to play all the time and be in the eyes of Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic. Previously, some Croatian players signed for big clubs and didn't play for them and were dropped from the national team. I couldn't take the risk.

"That's why Union Berlin was my choice, because I was clearly told that they would bring me as a player they see in the first team and they are also a big club who are high up in the Bundesliga. But leaving Celtic was very difficult for me. I met so many good people there, so many friends who will remain my friends for the rest of my life.

"Sometimes I wonder if I was only there for 18 months because that time flew by. Celtic is a world institution, such a big club, a club that the fans adore so much. I shudder when I think about the 60,000 fans at every home game.

"Those derbies against Rangers are a special experience and you immediately understand why it is one of the biggest games that exist in the football world. At Celtic, the players respected each other. In Scotland, the football was hard, but fair. Celtic is a special way of life and I will remember those 18 months for the rest of my life."


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