No Celtic for Kljestan

Sacha Kljestan 1 ( 

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Sacha Kljestan will not be heading to Celtic, at least not yet, and a winter transfer move is looking unlikely.

Kljestan's potential January move to the Scottish champions has been scrapped after Celtic decided that it could not afford the asking price for the U.S. national team midfielder, a package worth up to $3.5 million along with a sell-on clause, sources with knowledge of the negotiations told SBI on Friday.

The looming European transfer deadline is also making a move elsewhere in Europe unlikely for Kljestan despite interest from a handful of other clubs.

Kljestan is coming off a hat-trick performance in the U.S. team's 3-2 win vs. Sweden last weekend and now appears to be more likely for a summer departure from Chivas USA. Celtic is still interested in potentially bringing Kljestan in the summer, but the price could be even higher, as well as the number of interested clubs.

Kljestan's opportunities in Europe could grow come the summer, especially if he continues to earn starts for the U.S. national team. If he stays on his current pace, Kljestan could qualify for a UK work permit by the summer. He heads into the 2009 season with two years left on his current contract.

What do you think of the news? Disappointed that he isn't going to Celtic. Surprised that he is probably going to return to Chivas for at least the start of the 2009 season? Anxious to see what he can do against Mexico?

Share your thoughts below.

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72 Responses to No Celtic for Kljestan

  1. Eric from Tucson says:

    Thank God.

  2. Mentz says:

    I got to see Celtic in action this winter and though its a great club, its definitly not a suitable spot for him.

    1. He’d be behind people on the depth chart there.

    2. Def not his style.

  3. adam says:

    Holland or Germany!!!

  4. BrianK says:

    Laughable! Palacios fetches,…what 16M pound sterling from Tottenham and Celtic will not drop 2M quid on this kid.

  5. scott says:

    the other interested teams are??

  6. Kaiser says:

    Should definitely go to Holland!!!!

  7. jamin barnes says:

    Celtic wasn’t really a good fit for him. I think it’s a blessing in disguise.

  8. Yusef says:

    He doesn’t have a European passport?

  9. Jason says:

    good, he would sit on the pine in Scotland probably. He now gets to increase his stock more! Good luck Sacha

  10. gary says:

    as much as i’d love to have “kljestan” printed on the back of my blank 08-09 celtic jersey, i’m glad he isn’t going cuz it’d be a waste. he’d never get any first squad time; the bhoys are chock full of midfielders…just too many guys as good or better than him.

  11. hokieunited says:

    Still think he will move before the end of the window.

  12. zach says:


  13. Preki says:


  14. adam says:

    Move before the end of the window? Its def January 30! Summer looks probable, he also has a quick flight to US training camps for WC qualifying.

  15. EssEff says:

    Hehe, he said “quid”.

  16. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    It’s a win for MLS fans. I hope Sacha tears it up this year and gets an even bigger transfer fee.

  17. Derrick says:

    no upset at all. It’s an over rated league. not bad but i’d rather see him play in spain as i think the style of football is more suited for him, for american success.

  18. Brett says:

    Another year in MLS wouldn’t be the worst thing for him.

    Sort of makes me wish Fulham were still in love with signing Americans because he would be the perfect replacement for Bullard at a fraction of the price.

  19. Goalscorer24 says:

    It is probably for the best. I think he would do well in Holland.

  20. fenel says:

    I’m glad he stays. I’m a chivas usa Fan, and He’s one of the reason, along with Marsh, Razov and ex-chivas usa guzan and mendoza. I’ve been following him since his rookie season, i know his best is yet to come. One more thing, Although Holland would be good fit for him style-wise, I’d rather see him go to spain or italy.

  21. Richie B says:

    I agree with fenel, I think he’d be a good fit in Italy.

  22. Mike Canada says:

    Better off playing in MlS then sitting on the bench in Europe!

  23. Isaac says:


    his dad was born in yugoslavia so he does have a european passport.

  24. Isaac says:

    I think he should go to Holland Germany or Italy,preferably Holland. Dutch players are talented attackers but they defensively are very weak. The Euro exposed this. Kljestan already has his defensive game together so this would help him alot.

  25. dr dcr vcr says:

    Not so fast my friend, from what I understand Kljestan only has one year on his deal left (correct me if I’m wrong). How is his value going to increase if that is indeed true? He could sign a pre-contract agreement in the summer if MLS holds out for more money or leave on a Bosman in the winter. How much did Guzan go for again? $1.5 million, who by the way only had 6 months left on his deal when he went to Aston Villa.

  26. matt says:

    why are you commenters so obsessed with holland? so he can bang in 20 goals in a league that plays (are they even interested in it) defense? where he really needs to go is italy. even if it’s serie b, that’s a place to learn your craft and being that he’s the best young american midfielder i’d like for him to ply his trade against staunch defenders and defensive systems. he’ll learn to read the game there, he’ll learn so much more than he would in holland or germany or france or somewhere like it. he needs to goto italy or (i guess) spain.

  27. Ryan says:

    He wasn’t worth 3.5.

  28. Oranje Mike says:

    What happened with Twente? Internet chatter had him possibly going there.

  29. Matt says:

    Best possible outcome. Kljestan is not built for nor would he thrive in Scotland. He needs to be in a possession-oriented league. Scotland that is not.

  30. Ives says:

    Yusef, you must hold a passport from the European Union to qualify for the UK work permit. Kljestan’s father is Serbian and none of members of the former Yugoslavia are in the EU.

    And DR, Kljestan has two years left on his current contract, not one.

  31. Ted says:

    This is a blessing in disguise to US fans. Scotland is not a good place for this kid. Italy, with a team like Napoli or Lazio would be good if he could. Germany would be a good fit if he could land with a Hertha Berlin-type team. Basically, I want him to stay away from the hackfest that is soccer in the UK and France.

  32. Barry Ferguson says:

    maybe a blessing in disguise, but I could so picture Sacha in the green and white

  33. Michael F. says:

    Bummed no to see him go because his talent is ready for the next level but hope he gets to a team that’s a better fit for his style of play; spain or holland.

  34. Beckster says:

    Celtic too deep at midfield and he doesn’t have the speed off the ball yet. I don’t think he’d play and Ives would just be reporting another yank abroad not dressing every Monday. Would like to see him leave MLS for a quicker league but he needs to go where he’ll play

  35. Isaac, I thought I read someone saying Kljestan has to improve his defense still and that that is the weak spot in his game. But anyway, as most said here, I’m also glad he’s not going to Celtic. Too many cons to outweigh the pros of going there.

  36. Mig says:

    I’d be happy if no US player ever went to Scotland again because then I’d feel obligated to watch some of those dreary kickfests. Funny, cuz I love the country…I just hate their football.

    Sacha will be fine if he waits until the summer window…as long as he stays healthy.


  37. mikeK says:

    Twente and Schalke were the other teams rumored to be interested.

    Bummed Celtic didn’t pull the trigger on this one. Very bummed.

  38. Tom R says:

    I think its best for Sacha.

  39. Scott, PA says:

    Disappointed that he isn’t going. Celtic is my club, but they have a crowded midfield right now.

  40. cbr says:

    Portugal would be a nice place for him to play….very underrated league. It probably over took Holland as one of the top producers of young talent.

    im happy he stayed , im not a goats fan but I do want these type of guys to stay and beef up the quality of play all throughout MLS

  41. Mr. Hoopy says:

    Sacha Kljestan would’ve replaced Shunsuke Nakamura, becuase of his creativity and free kick ability. That’s okay, cos we’ll end up buying better players instead, like Semir Stilic (available for 2.5 million pounds) or Szabolcz Hutzsi (avaialbe on a Bosman in the summer). We wanted him, but we won’t be held to ransom by such a ridcilous offer.

  42. Joey L. says:

    wow, massive tldr right there.

  43. Mr. Hoopy says:

    Kljestan in Seria B? Terrible league, full of cloggers; he’d be chopped to bits in such a stifling league. Not to mention that he would have less of a chance to play there than with Celtic, which so many of you oddly believe. Holland is an overated league; don’t know why so many of you are obsessed with the Eredivsie. Celtic, Germany, or Ajax/PSV, or Portugal would be good places for him to get his feet wet. He would have replaced Nakamura as the focal point in our team; why would any of you think that would be a bad thing. Scottish football isn’t as bad as you all think. Their are many teams that play good football the way it is meant to be player: Celtic, Falkirk, Hamilton, Hibernian, Dundee United all play strategies based on passing, movement, and possesion. Playing for Celtic is the perfect place to be if you are a young player. Sacha will be sick at the MLS ruining this move for him. He really wanted to go to Celtic.

  44. Mr. Hoopy says:

    What does tldr mean Joeay? Enlighten me.

  45. Mr. Hoopy says:

    The reason so many of you are down on the SPL is because Edu and Beasley aren’t getting matches with the hun. It is fairly easy to explain. Edu has no technique and little skill; he made the move to early; if you want to blame someone then have a go at Judas Johnstone, who convinced Walter Smith to sign the duffer. Beasley isn’t playing because he is coward, with not heart, who constantly becomes injured because of his frail build and chocolate hamstrings. They aren’t playing because they simply aren’t good enough, even for the worst huns team in over 30 years.

    Celtic is a different kettle of fish. They are one of the best run clubs in all of Europe and have adopted a policy of building a team full of young, talented players akin to what is present at Arsenal/Ajax/PSV. They have built their club using the Dutch model, which all of you are so fond of. Sacha would have replaced Nakamura who is leaving this summer, as the focal point in our team. Our side would’ve been built around him and he would have filled a major role for Celtic. Where else would get a chance to play under an excellent coach in Gordon Strachan, surrounded by terrific young, skillful players like Scott Brown, Marc Crosas, and Aiden McGeady? Not FC Twente and certainly not Schalke, where he would be bench fodder. But now that’ll never happen, cos the inpet MLS bollocks up a deal and have deliberately hindered the development of one of their future stars, because of their own greed. incompentace, and naiive demands. What a shower of amatuers.

  46. lazo says:

    my new kick is let him play in FMF. that way i can watch easily and he is cloce to home (U.S.) we need more owners in fmf buying usa products. I don’t watch much fmf but would for sure if more U.S. players played there.

  47. dfunyon75 says:

    hey Ives, or anyone else, anyone know a link or website where i can watch full length old world cup matches? like England vs. Cameroon 1990 or USA vs colombia 1994? i’d like to see some of those old games. any help would be appreciated.

  48. jim b says:

    Ya know…these Scots(perhaps wanna be scots) infiltrating this site have grossly overestimated their league. The mid table SPL teams are no better than mid table MLS teams, dispite their abhorrent eurosnobbery

  49. ImaGoalMan says:

    I guess Mr. Hoopy just had to purge. Must be an Inverness fan IRL….

  50. Justin O says:

    Ives – Slovenia is in the EU. They’re even in the euro zone.

  51. Jonathan says:

    Mr. Hoopy

    tl;dr = too long ; did not read

    Your post should become a copypasta to be recycled when US Nats fail to move abroad. Just a little modification, and your post could be applied to many players/ clubs. Good job dude.

  52. Judging Amy says:

    “The US national team, despite their meaningless place in the egregious FIFA rankings, remains a non entity in International football; they are a nothing nation, over rated by their myopic fanbase. They are no better than Australia, Japan, Nigeria, and Uraguay. They have achieved nothing and will continue to achieve nothing until the MLS realizes it’s place as a feeder league to truly professional leagues in Europe.”

    No need to bring the Nats into this Mr. Hoopy. But I love when other foreign national team fans (usually our Mexican rivals)use this argument (that the US hasn’t achieved anything soccerwise). I don’t think Nats fans expect to win the World Cup, but the team has already made huge strides quality-wise since 1990 and will continue to improve along with our league, the popularity of the sport, and our youth development infrastructure. This improvement has happened and will continue to happen at a much faster rate than most other countries. So while the US may be “just” a solid team now, in 20 years who knows? And I think you and our rival countries know that. And I think you’re very very afraid.

  53. Cam says:

    Mr. Hoopy go write a book…

    I’d love to see Sacha in either Holland or Portugal.

  54. kofi_x5 says:

    While I agree with Mr Hoopy that Chivas/MLS should have made the transfer happen, I sense quite a bit of defensiveness. The sort one would expect from a pussycat cornered by an inquisitive dog.
    I’m sure Sacha would’ve grown immensely from the experience.
    Judging Amy shares my sentiments exactly. MLS is a in its junior stages right now. Developing, making mistakes, growing, learning, and getting stronger.

    Donovan had 4 goals in his first 5 games at Bayern Munich. So you can take that stat and Hoop it Mr Hoopy.

  55. BrianK says:

    Mr. Hoopy,…the Scotish Premier League? The Scotish Premier League? What are we talking about,…Celtic, Rangers and about 16 other crap teams. The funny thing is,…you are bashing MLS and yet you say nothing of the fact that Celtic were admittedly bargain hunting. In other words,…if they can’t get talent on the cheap, we will not pay a fair price for it. Get real. The Scotish Premier League!!! And if you want to drag national teams into the discussion,…Scotland!!!! Scotland!!!!!!! Are you joking?

  56. kofi_x5 says:

    Hoopy says Beasley has “Chocolate hamstrings” ???

    Haggis eating m’f’ka

  57. Mr. Hoopy says:

    I am an American and I enjoy MLS, but I am realistic about it’s place in the world, unlike most of the commentators that post here.

    I also realize how much of an inept, amatuerish organization it is. Especially since the players are owned by the league and not the clubs. The salaries on offer are a disgrace. Expansion will be an especially vainglorious failure.

    Any player that garners interest from Europe should be sold, at a reasonable price, because allowing the best players to escape the confines of a very poor league, littered with horrible coaches and very limited players, can only benefit the US National team.

    Sorry, but MLS really needs to fold and a new league free from anyone who was involved in the leadership and/or financial backing of this sham of an organization. FFS, Maurice Johnstone remains heavily involved in MLS and he knows dick about soccer. Same with Bruce Arena, Lalas, and most anyone else involved. The only exception is Bob Bradley, who actually knows what he is doing.

  58. Mr. Hoopy says:

    “Ya know…these Scots(perhaps wanna be scots) infiltrating this site have grossly overestimated their league. The mid table SPL teams are no better than mid table MLS teams, dispite their abhorrent eurosnobbery”

    I have to laugh at that comment.

    First of all because there is no way of knowing that mid table SPL clubs are no better than mid table MLS teams, since they never play each other. You must have been simply guessing, but guess what? Your hollow comment means f all, cos it can’t be proven.

    Anyway it is pointless to compare since their are too many different variables, such as geography, financial contraints, EU laws, lack of interest, that ensure we will never know who has the better mid table sides.

    Who really cares whose mid table sides are no better than someone elses mid table sides? What the hell does that prove, besides a juvenile thought process on your part?

    Sorry, but the only ones guilty of grossly overestimating their league are you and your EPL obsessed, MLS watching cohorts on this blog.

    I watch many leagues and the only one I’ve thought had poorer quality that MLS is the Australian version.

    Besides, I highly doubt that you watch much SPL action, so you don’t really know the strengths and weaknesses of our mid table clubs. Here’s a tip though: you won’t find out through looking at their squads on FIFA 2009 and wikipedia; you actually have to watch the matches, ie a lot of them.

  59. Mr. Hoopy says:

    “Mr. Hoopy,…the Scotish Premier League? The Scotish Premier League? What are we talking about,…Celtic, Rangers and about 16 other crap teams. The funny thing is,…you are bashing MLS and yet you say nothing of the fact that Celtic were admittedly bargain hunting. In other words,…if they can’t get talent on the cheap, we will not pay a fair price for it. Get real. The Scotish Premier League!!! And if you want to drag national teams into the discussion,…Scotland!!!! Scotland!!!!!!! Are you joking?”

    So what if Celtic were bargain hunting? That is what clubs do when they attempt to buy players from MLS, because they aren’t as valuable as those from other leagues. £2 million is a fair price for Kljestan; the proposed sell on fee is totally unacceptable and that is what most likely ruined the deal.

  60. Mr. Hoopy says:

    “Hoopy says Beasley has “Chocolate hamstrings” ???

    Haggis eating m’f’ka”

    Yes, his hamstrings are made of chocolate, ie they frequently break down, causing him to miss matches. Have you never heard of this expression? Michael Owen has chocolate hamstrings as well. I’ve never tried haggis, not many people actually eat it.

  61. Jonathan says:

    – Poor leagues sell their players all the time. MLS is a poor league.

    – “Chocolate hamstings”?? Check the youtube link on my username. It immediately came to my mind. ;);)

  62. Brooklyn Zoo says:

    Awww poor Mr. Hoppy.

    The MLS won’t bend over backwards to lower their price because, gasp, you play in a european league?!!

    The move will come for sasha eventually. The MLS needs to not let itself be lo-balled by old, european clubs. We’ve had capitalism a lot longer then we’ve had soccer in this country, chap.

  63. BrianK says:

    Mr. Hoopy,

    I know it must be hard to come to terms with the notion that Scotland is no longer sporting the great players as it once did…Dalglish, Jordan, Souness, Nicol, etc. and is in pretty weak form these days,…but things may turn around.

    Anyway,…MLS is wise to the European clubs approach to transfers. This is how it goes:

    A Euro team expresses interest in a young MLS player who is of decent standard.

    Being enamored with Euro football,…the young lad is chomping at the bit to move abroad. The Euro team in question knows this and knows that the player will piss and moan if he doesn’t get to move (see Dempsey, Twellman, Joseph),…which leads to them low-ball MLS on the transfer fee. MLS has the play the bad guy with its own player and dig in its heals to get fair value. There you have it.

    I have watched soccer for many, many years all over the world, including Scotland (which is a lovely country, BTW) and it is plain as day that this is what is happening.

    Do you think Shalrie Joseph would have a huge impact on a Scotish team’s midfield? Of course he would,…but the Scots were not willing to pony up fair value. To bad, so sad. Their loss.

    Anyway,…SK is better off in MLS for another year.

    One more thing,…don’t the Scots have the reputation of having deep pockets and short arms?

  64. Jamie Z. says:

    I agree, for one, the U.S. are in roughly the same league as Australia, Nigeria, Japan, Uruguay…and Scotland.

  65. smokeminside says:

    I think he should go to Belgium, where the people are shorter, the pockets full but not so deep, and everyone’s hamstrings are made of amazingly tasty beer.

  66. Mr. Hoopy says:


    Sorry, but the MLS and Celtic had agreed a £2 million transfer fee (plus add ons) before he made his trial. Now after he scored 3 goals against Sweden’s C squad, they wanted to include a sell on fee. We don’t do sell on fees. That scuppered the deal. £2 million is fair value for a player with potential, who has achieved nothing. He’s not going to become a better player through one more year in the MLS; that will only occur when he moves to Europe.

    Brooklyn zoo

    Celtic are not lo balling MLS, it is the reverse scenario. MLS is overpricing a player, by adding a ridiculous sell on fee. Actually, we did accept a sell on fee for a young player, Marc Crosas, but he came from the Barcelona academy, which is vastly superior to Seton Hall or Bradenton. In fact we only paid £1.4 million for him and he is a vastly superior player to Sacha Kljestan.

    The MLS is naive to over price Kljestan, because after a couple of years with Celtic, he could’ve earned a big money move to the EPL, Spain, or Italy. They’ve shot themselves in the foot because of their greed.

    Sascha will eventually leave MLS for NOTHING and I will laugh. I can’t wait to see what they’ll want to over charge Bayern for Landon Donovan. Beckanbauer and Hoeness will laugh in their face and send him straight back to mediocrity in LA.

    BTW, I don’t care at all about international football; it is obsolete and should no longer be contested. I am an American who only follows Celtic, they are all I care about.

  67. Mr. Hoopy says:

    Fulham bought Clint Dempsey for £2 million (2nd highest fee paid for an MLS player)and yet £2 million isn’t enough for Sacha Kljestan. Sorry, but the MLS screwed this one up, cos Sacha really wanted to move to Celtic.

  68. Mr. Hoopy says:


    “Donovan had 4 goals in his first 5 games at Bayern Munich. So you can take that stat and Hoop it Mr Hoopy.”

    So what? There are 34 matches per team in the Bundesliga per season. Scoring 4 goals in 5 matches means very little.

  69. Curtinho says:

    See. Mid table SPL teams are no better than those in the MLS? Then why, pray tell, do players that are released because they are total crap in the SPL end up starting for teams in MLS? Players like Tam McManus and Collin Samuel were punted from Falkirk and Dundee United and ended up with MLS clubs. Paul Dalglish was on a championship winner. Hell, you even signed Kenny Deuchar and tried to play him up like it was a quality addition! LOL

    It’s not Eurosnobbery. It’s fact. MLS clubs are currently after Hibernian reject Brian Kerr, that’s your level. Get over yourselves. 😀

  70. Tom P says:

    Better off playing in MlS then sitting on the bench in Europe! “mike canada”

    All that needs to be said on the matter right there.

  71. madmax says:

    I’m glad it didn’t go through. I believe Celtic was a bad choice. Sacha could have ended up like Jozy, Freddy, Damarcus, Maurice, and the others sitting in the stands in civvies. Even if they are sitting at Old Trafford behind SAF it wouldn’t be good. Future USA international prospects take note. playing time counts, tell your agents.

  72. steve says:

    His dad is from the former yugoslavia and is now considered serbian.serbia is not part of the EU so no he doesn’t have a european passport nor can he get one. if he did, both he and his brother would already be playing in europe. on celtic…. it’s a shame, if a scrawny japanese guy can make it there, sascha could have been just fine. very similar players/bodies/styles. he’ll still land on his feet though with chivas or whoever else.