Celtic and Sunderland have now officially missed out on Zan Vipotnik with the striker convinced he has made the ‘best choice’ sealing a £5.4 million move to Bordeaux.
After missing out on promotion back to France’s top flight last term – finishing third and agonisingly short the top two – a Bordeaux side who’s entire future was in doubt just 12 months ago did not appear to be negotiating from a position of strength during their pursuit of Zan Vipotnik.
Celtic could offer Champions League football. Ditto Sevilla and Feyenoord.
Sunderland, meanwhile, hope to launch another assault on the Premier League next term, under a coach in Tony Mowbray who boasts such an impressive track record when it comes to sending hungry young talent on their way to the top
So there was considerable surprise, in some quarters, when Vipotnik opted to play second-tier football at the Matmut Atlantique next term.
Celtic and Sunderland miss out on Zan Vipotnik
“We considered all the factors to decide how to proceed. And when the offers came in, we got together and realized Bordeaux was the best choice,” says Vipotnik, who replaces the departing Josh Maja in Wine Country.
“We all know it’s a club with a rich tradition. One of the most successful in France. I am delighted to join the team.
“Unfortunately, my new team-mates also failed to achieve the season they wanted last season, narrowly missing out on the promotion to Ligue 1. We will do our best to make the new season a success.”
Vipotnik scored 23 goals for Slovenian outfit Maribor last season.
According to L’Equipe, Sunderland expressed an interest. Vipotnik’s agent, meanwhile, told Football Scotland that Celtic were also keen, although the disappointment at missing out on the Slovania international poacher should be offset by the news of Kyogo Furuhashi’s new four-year contract.
“The clubs showed their serious intentions, and confirmed how precisely and in detail they monitored the best scorer in the Slovenian league,” explains Maribor director Marko Suler.
“Many official offers arrived. But, after a joint consultation, we decided on Bordeaux. Sporting director (Gerard) LopeZ – with his principles, the operation of the club – various factors confirmed that it is the complete package.
“Also, the player’s wish was very important.”
Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray has made no secret of his desire to bnring in a new number nine. The Black Cats are still waiting for Ross Stewart’s return from a long-standing Achilles injury, while Joe Gelhardt has returned to Leeds United.