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Scepovic: Celtic always my first choice

Stefan Scepovic sent a message to supporters last night by insisting he had never stalled on moving to Celtic Park and the club was always his first choice.

Some fans have given the £2.2m Serbian striker - presented at a media conference at Parkhead last night - a guarded welcome after the 24-year-old did a u-turn on coming to Celtic on the eve of Monday's transfer deadline, seeming to hold out for a move to Getafe, only to change his mind again and come to Scotland. Scepovic became the champions' major summer signing, while last night they were waiting for FIFA to decide on their attempt to bring Swedish striker John Guidetti on loan from Manchester City. But even if he is allowed to join, Guidetti will not be able to play in any of Celtic's Europa League group games because he was not registered before the competition's 11pm deadline last night.

Fully 24 hours earlier, on Monday night, Celtic asked for an extension to the SPFL's transfer window in order to register Guidetti. The SPFL agreed to that but when Celtic were then late submitting some of the necessary paperwork to the SFA, which needed the documents before midnight, FIFA would not allow the registration to go ahead.

Both the SPFL and the SFA wrote to FIFA to support Celtic's attempt to have Guidetti registered. Celtic are still waiting to learn if they will be successful but the player cannot now be registered in time for the Europa League group games against Red Bull Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb and Astra.

The 22-year-old forward told a Swedish newspaper yesterday about his frustrating day. "It was chaos," he said. "I don't think I ate all day.

"It was just wait, wait, wait. Hundreds of fans stood outside the stadium and waited in the middle of the night," said Guidetti, who had been told he was surplus to requirements at the City of Manchester Stadium.

"I hope that it sorts itself out with Celtic, otherwise I'll have to stay at City though that's not the worst thing that could happen. Unfortunately, the papers weren't finished in time and now it's up to FIFA to decide." Guidetti revealed that he had even discussed with Celtic about wearing the No.7 shirt worn by his famous compatriot Henrik Larsson.

"We did actually talk about the No.7 shirt," Guidetti told Sportbladet. "They're big shoes to fill, but it would have been fun."

As for the signing Celtic did manage to push through, Scepovic tried firmly to put the message across that his commitment to Celtic could not be questioned. "I never said I didn't want to come to Celtic. I don't know why people say things like that.

"When I spoke with my family and friends, I always said my choice was to come here. There were some problems but the most important thing is that I am here now.

"Okay, I know [some fans might be wary] but they will never find any quotes from me where I said I didn't want to come to Celtic. Never, because I didn't say it. My first choice was always Celtic. I'll work hard and do everything to prove I can play here and bring something different.

"Celtic going out of the Champions League did not change my thinking. We can still do a lot in the Europa League, it's a good competition. Next year, we will maybe be in the Champions League.

"I just want to look at the future with Celtic, that's it. Monday was a tough day, but that's football."

Kris Commons, meanwhile, sought assurances about Celtic's ambition as contract talks opened which could keep him at Parkhead for the remainder of his career.

Last season's top scorer is out of contract at the end of the season and after being dropped from the starting team for both Champions League matches against Maribor, there has been speculation about his future under the manager Ronny Deila.

However, speaking on Peter Martin and Alan Rough's show on plzsoccer.com, Commons said: "My agent has been in this week, obviously just for brief discussions, not just about the length of the contract I'm going to sign but what's going to be happening in the future for Celtic and where the board sees us in two or three years.

"Because, when you have had such a successful time at Celtic, you want to keep doing that. You don't want to take backward steps.

"There were things said in the meeting that were positive. I've got a great relationship with the players, staff and fans and I just want to keep performing for Celtic as long as possible."

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