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By ESPN Staff
Jul 6, 2006

Hasselbaink's Celtic move is off

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is 'saddened' to miss out on a move to Celtic but his agent believes the Scottish champions have missed out on the perfect replacement for John Hartson.

Manager Gordon Strachan wanted the 34-year-old Dutchman to fill the boots of the recently-departed Welsh striker and was in Amsterdam on Monday to discuss a move to Parkhead with the player.

Former Middlesbrough, Chelsea and Leeds forward Hasselbaink wanted to join the Bank of Scotland Premier League and CIS Insurance Cup winners as they look ahead to next season's Champions League.

But, despite the player's willingness to drop his wage demands, the club still could not do a deal.

The summer exits of Hartson and Roy Keane have left the Hoops short of experience and Hasselbaink's agent Humphry Nijman believes he would have been a major asset for them.

'It is possible they have missed out,' he said. 'We got down to a level which was the best we could do but unfortunately that was not enough to do an agreement.

'Jimmy is very sad because he would have loved to have played for them and Gordon really wanted him there. It's known that a lot of young players have come to Celtic and the squad is reasonably young.

'Gordon wanted to add some experience to that group and Jimmy was the perfect man to help those around him - not only on the pitch but also in the dressing room.

'Gordon was very much aware of what Jimmy would bring and that's why it is a shame this could not happen.

'But you have to understand that if a club cannot reach an agreement then we have respect them, just like clubs have to respect a player when he decides where he wants to play.'

Nijman added: 'Jimmy won't be joining Celtic. Jimmy would have loved to have played for Celtic but one thing is for sure is we did all we can to do it and Gordon Strachan also tried his best to get Jimmy.

'It was a move both parties wanted but we were not able to come to an agreement so that is the end of it.

'Jimmy really tried to go there and was really willing to get his wages to a level we both thought would make that possible, but we were not able to reach an agreement.

'We have three Premiership clubs interested in him and we will be speaking to them now.'

Celtic also verified earlier reports a deal could not be sealed and both parties parted amicably.

Chief executive Peter Lawwell said: 'We tried all we could to sign Jimmy but unfortunately it wasn't to be. We wish him all the best.'