Sead Haksabanovic blames Celtic transfer exit on Brendan Rodgers and claims board wanted to KEEP him

Sead Haksabanovic has claimed the Celtic board wanted him to STAY but Brendan Rodgers put his foot down.

The winger sealed a permanent exit from Parkhead last week as he moved back to the country of his birth with Swedish champions Malmo. He spent last season on loan at Stoke City having become a Hoops outcast and hitting out at his lack of opportunity on social media.

He was deemed surplus to requirements by Rodgers, who had inherited the player from Ange Postecoglou. Even under the Aussie, the 25-year-old failed to live up to his billing after signing from Rubin Kazan but fell even further out of the picture after the Northern Irishman took over.

The Montenegro international wasn't a regular at Stoke either and Celts were keen to offload him permanently after that spell expired. But he has now claimed the higher-ups wanted to keep him on and his exit was all down to the manager.

Haksabanovic told fotbollskanalen: "Yes, mostly (it was down to) him (Rodgers), because the board wanted me to stay. They believed in me but he had other plans. Football-wise, I don't think Malmo and Celtic are far apart. Malmo in Sweden is like Real Madrid in Spain."

He had already taken to social media in the wake of his departure to rue his spell being cut short. He wrote: "So my time at Celtic has come to an end, earlier than I thought, expected & wanted but some other people had another opinion & I gotta respect that.

“I wanna thank the players, the staff & the fans because that is really what Celtic is about. We made some good memories together & I will always have love for Celtic. Good luck & Celtic are massive everywhere they go. All the best for the future."

Prior to his loan in the English Championship, he had strongly hinted that relations were strained between him and the boss with a social media blast. He wrote: "If they don't see your value maybe you're not at the right place."