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By ESPN Staff
Aug 6, 2006

'Keane was only Celtic's 8th best-paid player'

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has revealed Roy Keane moved to Parkhead despite being warned he would not be a first-choice midfielder and was only the club's eighth-highest earner.

Keane realised a lifetime ambition by signing for the Hoops after being released by Manchester United in December last year, playing in the Bank of Scotland Premier League for six months before retiring.

He was reported to have been given a huge salary in Glasgow but Strachan, in his autobiography serialised in the Sunday Times, said: 'When Keane signed for us, a number of reports indicated he would be on £40,000 a week at Parkhead and the deal would be funded partly by (majority shareholder) Dermot Desmond. Neither was correct.

'The salary we agreed with him was considerably less than £40,000 a week, and even then it was dependent on the number of first-team appearances he made.

'Far from being Celtic's highest earner when he joined, he was no higher than eighth on the list.

'Dermot was brilliant in this matter. As one of Roy's Irish admirers, Dermot wanted him on board as much as anybody - but not at the expense of leaving us short of money for the group of younger players I wanted to sign.'

Strachan said he was honest with Keane from the start about competition for places at Parkhead.

'Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Keane's decision to come to Celtic was that I could not even promise him a regular place in the team.

'At our meeting at Dermot's house in London to discuss the move, I told him `I still see you as a central midfielder. But the problem is that Neil Lennon and Stilian Petrov are doing too well in that area to be left out or moved elsewhere.

'If I had to select a team for the next match, and the three of you were all fit, I would have to plump for Neil and Stilian'.

'He was perfectly happy with that, for the simple reason that because of his affection for Celtic during his upbringing in the Irish Republic, he had genuinely set his heart on playing for the club.'