Caldwell claims forced exit

New Wigan defender points finger at Celtic chiefs

Caldwell: Wigan switch

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Gary Caldwell has revealed his belief that he was forced out of Celtic - against the wishes of manager Tony Mowbray.

The 27-year-old defender insists Mowbray wanted him to stay in Glasgow and was happy to meet his wage demands.

But Caldwell claims chief executive Peter Lawwell and majority shareholder Dermot Desmond soon made it clear he had no future with the Old Firm giants.

The Scotland international had six months left on his Celtic contract but reckons there was a difference of opinion with the Parkhead powerbrokers and that talks over a new deal not only broke down but barely even got started.

Former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan was set to lure Caldwell to Middlesbrough along with Barry Robson and loan signings Willo Flood and Chris Killen.

Underestimated

But the deal fell through and the ex-Hibernian defender completed a move to Wigan on Thursday, with the Celtic hierarchy having accepted an undisclosed fee for Caldwell.

"You have to ask Peter and Dermot if they underestimated me as a footballer," he told the Scottish Sun.

"They judged me and their judgment was a little bit off from mine.

"I have no regrets - I had three-and-a-half years there and they were great for me. Hopefully I was good for them.

Crossroads

"But the boss had one opinion and the club had a different one. I think the club won in the end.

"The gaffer told me at different times he wanted me to stay," Caldwell added.

"Ultimately, we came to a crossroads and it went the wrong way for me and my future at Celtic.

"There was one negotiation between my agent and Peter."