Ryan Christie insists he didn’t leave Celtic for money and has hit back at the snipers who gave him flak for moving to Bournemouth.
MailSport can reveal that Celtic received a £2.5 million fee for Christie, which could rise to £4m with add-ons, despite him having just four months left on his contract.
Bournemouth and Premier League outfit Burnley had both agreed that deal but Christie picked the Cherries because of gaffer Scott Parker’s style of football and desire to get them back into the Premier League.
His decision to move to the Championship saw the 26-year-old branded a money grabber and lacking ambition.
But Christie has rubbished that by revealing that he turned down more cash at Turf Moor.
And he says his burning ambition to play in England’s top flight is exactly why he left Glasgow.
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And in an exclusive interview with MailSport , he said: “In terms of the money grabbing shout that’s going about – I just don’t understand it.
“It just confirms to me that most of this stuff comes out of thin air.
“Money-wise, there were better options for me in the Premier League. And if I wanted to be a bit-part player for a club in that league, I’d have gone there.
“But I wanted to join a club where I felt I’d be an important player and there would be pressure on me to play well.
“Bournemouth was perfect as a team who are desperate to play in the Premier League.
“And if we can get up, hopefully I can be a vital player there.
“I didn’t want to come down here, play for a club where I’d get 20 minutes there or there and take up a wage.”
Christie, who won two Trebles at Celtic and scored 42 goals in his time at Parkhead, felt he wanted a fresh challenge away from Scotland.
He believes Parker’s style of play will suit him down the ground as he aims to help the club reach the Premier League in his first year.
He said: “I’ve heard people question my ambition but I don’t understand that at all. I actually see it as the polar opposite.
“I’ve done everything I wanted to do at Celtic in terms of achievements.
“So my ambition is now to go and achieve something else in my career and hopefully get to play in the Premier League.
“I feel like I’ve joined a club with a massive chance of doing that via promotion.
“If that happens, I’ll get the chance to play in what I think is the best league in the world.
“I don’t think anyone can accuse me of lacking ambition.”