Former Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu says he was told to join Celtic in January
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Former Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu says he was told to join Celtic in January

Christian Atsu has admitted that he was told to leave Newcastle United for Celtic in January.

However, the winger stayed at St James’ Park because of his family.

Atsu has been released by the Magpies this summer, despite the club not officially confirming his departure.

His Newcastle contract expired at the end of June, and Atsu was named on the Premier League’s released list alongside Henri Saivet and Andy Carroll.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

However, the club have never actually acknowledged their departures. They haven’t been wished luck for the future. They haven’t been thanked for the efforts.

Atsu is now a free agent, and has spoken to the Athletic about the final year of his Newcastle career.

Christian Atsu decided against joining Celtic

The Athletic state that Atsu was told to join Celtic in January.

“Five hours before the window closed, they asked me to go to another club,” he said.

“Five hours to close!

“The club knew my position, why I’d stayed. With five hours’ notice, that was never going to change. It was impossible to make that decision. My family comes first.”

With a settled family on Tyneside, Atsu wasn’t just going to go anywhere to get first-team football.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United

In fact, it was his decision to spend his final season playing for the Under-23s rather than relocate his wife and kids.

Would a move to Celtic have benefitted Atsu’s career? Perhaps.

If he’d performed well there he could have earned a permanent move to Parkhead.

But Atsu is a family man, and his decision stay and collect his wage at Newcastle should not be sneered at.

He’d agreed a deal with Newcastle until 2021 – it was his right to see it out.

The Ghanaian has admitted to the Athletic that he did not agree with Steve Bruce’s reasons for wanting him to leave, but would not disclose them.

He is now a free agent, and says he has offers from clubs in England. However, he may decide to move abroad.

Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Regardless, Atsu was a loyal servant to Newcastle, and played his part in helping the club return to the Premier League under Rafa Benitez.

He deserved at least a ‘thank you’ for his services, rather than the radio silence we’ve seen.

Then again, communication has never been great during Mike Ashley’s tenure. Perhaps he should be a bit more transparent…

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