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'Tottenham's demands made Celtic return impossible' - CF Montreal's Wanyama

08:48 GMT 05/11/2021
Victor Wanyama of Celtic.
The former Kenya captain has revealed he was ready to accept a cut in his Spurs wages and return to his former club

CF Montreal midfielder Victor Wanyama has revealed he always wanted to return to Scottish Premiership club Celtic, but the demands from Tottenham Hotspur made it impossible.

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon tried to sign the ex-Harambee Stars captain in January 2020 after he had fallen down the pecking order at Tottenham, but the demands made by the London club put a stop to the proposed move, even though Wanyama was willing to make a return to Parkhead while taking a salary cut.

Tottenham demands

"I had a contract at Tottenham and they were very difficult to let me go, the demands were very hard," Wanyama told Football Scotland. "Celtic was a club that I would love to play for again and again. It's more than a club. I enjoyed my time there.

"There was a loan approach but I don't know what happened. I didn't follow it up that much. I spoke to Neil [Lennon] as well and he said to me 'it's difficult with the demands' and at that time they didn't have the money to make it happen.

"But it is what is. As I say, I still love that club, it's in my heart."

The 30-year-old made it clear that he would also be happy to sign for them again if he got a chance.

"I honestly want to come back and give it a last go because I love the club, the people there, the fans, just everything there was great," he explained.

"They give the players everything to go on the pitch and perform. Everything was just on top.

"Of course, it wasn't always about me. It was about club-to-club. For me, I was ready to sacrifice that time. What happened, happened."

The former AFC Leopards star left Celtic for Southampton in an £11.6million deal in 2013 and he has reflected on the move to the Premier League.

"It was difficult," added Wanyama.

"I personally wanted to be there, but it was also a good investment for the club. It was a good business side.

"The club had to benefit to make the business side move on. I understood that. I loved the club and I was really happy to continue there. But the situation didn't allow it."

The Big Vic, as Wanyama is famously referred to at home, spoke highly of ex-Celtic boss Lennon, who brought him to the Premiership from Beerschot of Belgium.

"I loved working under him," Wanyama continued.

"He was a great manager. He assembled a very, very good team. It was just great to play under him.

"At a club like Celtic, it was an unbelievable club. It's a club that is like a family. Everything around the club was just perfect. It's great.

"When you are working under him and the club is also very professional. The fans are laughing and they are kind and always pushing the team. 

"It was a great time to be playing for Celtic."