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Former Dundee United and Celtic striker Nadir Ciftci joins St Johnstone

Celtic v Leicester City – 2016 International Champions Cup – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

St Johnstone have signed former Dundee United and Celtic striker Nadir Ciftci until the end of the season.

The 29-year-old arrives in Perth from Turkish side MKE Ankaragucu as manager Callum Davidson continues to strengthen a side which currently sit bottom of the cinch Premiership.

The Turkish forward, who also had a spell on loan at Motherwell in early 2018, has been in his homeland for the past three-and-a-half years but is relishing his return to Scotland.

He told Saints’ website: “I spent five years in Scottish football so I know all about the SPFL Premiership.

“Even though I have been away for a few years, I still kept up an interest in Scottish football.

“I was well aware of St Johnstone winning the two cups last season. It was an unbelievable achievement and it was well deserved.

“So when Callum Davidson phoned me, he didn’t need to persuade me to make the move. I know what St Johnstone is all about and it is a very good football club.”

Ciftci is short of match sharpness but is confident he can help Saints improve their chances of avoiding relegation.

He said: “I’ve not played too much in the past six months and it hurt me to be on the sidelines. But thankfully, my level of fitness is good.

“It’s just about finding my natural rhythm in competitive games, finding my automatic instincts and getting my level of confidence back. I’m relaxed about it all.

“My job is to help the team win games of football and I am ready for the challenge ahead.

“I want to score goals, of course. But it’s more important that we play as a team and we all make the correct contribution.

“I am not here to be selfish. St Johnstone is the priority and they will always come first.

“The effort in the next few months needs to be a collective one and that is the attitude that will help us win the games we need to win.”

Saints have already added Irish defender Daniel Cleary and former Liverpool left-back Tony Gallacher to their squad this month, while midfielder Ali Crawford has converted his initial loan move into a permanent contract.

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