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Assistant boss John Kennedy admits Celtic ‘miles apart’ in negotiations with David Turnbull

Celtic assistant boss John Kennedy admits the Hoops and David Turnbull were “miles apart” after the collapse of their £3.25million swoop for the Motherwell playmaker.

The Bhoys were given permission to hold talks with the 19-year-old last week after offering to smash the Steelmen’s record transfer fee.

But despite making what they claimed was a “magnificent offer” for the Scottish Football Writers’ Association’s young player of the year, Turnbull knocked it back.

Parkhead chiefs issued a take-it-or-leave it ultimatum last Friday before finally backing out of the deal completely on Tuesday night.

Turnbull is now holding talks with Norwich after the Canaries agreed to match the terms initially lodged by Celtic.

But Kennedy insists the Scottish champions are not worrying about missing out and have already moved on to their next target.

“We made him a very good offer and to his representatives,” said Neil Lennon’s number two. “We showed a great interest to the player.

“But how they’ve seen it and how the representatives have seen it, it’s obviously miles apart.

“We’ve got a number of targets and if it’s not right for us then we’ll move on to our next target and that’s what we aim to do.

“If he goes and signs for Norwich then good luck to him. He’s a good player, a talented player but we made him a good offer.

“We’re a terrific club with a proven record of developing talents, young players. Ryan Christie, Kristoffer Ajer, Odsonne Edouard – they’re all young players who need the game time, need the right platform to develop and become proper players.

“We thought David could be one of them, but there’s a number of players like that around.

“We thought it was a good fit for us but not everything works out so we’ve got to move on and do business elsewhere.

“These things happen but in the transfer window, you don’t just put all your eggs in one basket.

“We showed an interest in the player, made a good offer to Motherwell and it came down to player and the representatives who decided not to take the offer.

“We’ll move onto the next one. We’ve already been discussing that and looking at the next targets which we’ll continue to do.

“Things will materialise in the coming weeks. It’s early days, the middle of June and a lot of clubs are still on holiday.

“That’s the challenge we face when we’re trying to do business this early. A lot of clubs are holding fire for a few more weeks.”

The Celtic top brass were criticised by some supporters when they missed out on landing John McGinn from Hibernian.

And the loss of another bright Scottish talent will leave the Parkhead faithful frustrated again.

But Kennedy insists Celtic are right to stick to their valuation of Turnbull’s abilities.

“We’re fair,” he stressed. “We’re not offering them youth-team money. It’s a very fair offer.

“It’s not just financial. The players we’re trying to attract, it’s about selling them the bigger picture and the club they’re coming too.”

Celtic have been operating without a head of recruitment since the departure of Lee Congerton last month.

But Kennedy added: “Things are still functioning as normal. What heads of recruitment do, they come in and do what’s right for the manager and the club.

“They don’t come in and do things their own way. They have a view, an opinion, but ultimately they have to go out and sign players which suit the manager’s style, the club’s structure.”