How Sheffield United missed out on bargain signing of Celtic star Tom Rogic almost 10 years ago

After lifting 15 separate pieces of silverware during his 10 seasons in Scotland, Australian international Tom Rogic probably has few regrets about his 2013 move from his homeland to Glasgow giants Celtic.

Monday, 24th January 2022, 11:36 am

After falling out of favour under previous manager Neil Lennon, Rogic is shining again under former Aussie boss Ange Postecoglou at Celtic Park – but things could have been so different for the 29-year-old had he been lured to Sheffield United instead almost a decade ago.

Rogic was identified as a player of interest during the Kevin McCabe era of ownership at Bramall Lane, which saw the property magnate purchase interests in a number of clubs around the world – including Rogic’s Central Coast Mariners in Australia.

Gordon Watson, who was United’s international academy boss at the time, was keen on bringing Rogic – who he described as a “top player” – to Sheffield. But it didn’t happen, Rogic went to Celtic instead and the rest, as they say, is history.

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“Kevin owned shares in clubs in China, Hungary, India and Belgium," Young told Lanarkshire Live.

"He also had shares in Central Coast Mariners. They had this group of clubs they would use to Talent ID players and filter them through the levels.

"Tom Rogic was one of them but we missed out because of a discrepancy over a shares issue. We could have - and should have - signed him.

Tom Rogic of Celtic is challenged by Aissa Laidouni of Ferencvaros TC during the UEFA Europa League group G match at Celtic Park (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

"I can't put my finger on it but it was something on the ownership side of it. Sheffield United had first pick on anybody and never took it up.

"My job was to implement 'the Sheffield United way' and try and develop players, migrating them back to Sheffield United.

"I remember going to a game at Celtic when I was at Sheffield United. Rogic was outstanding and Celtic beat Dundee 6-0.

“We had a clause that we could have taken him for £800,000. I thought he was a top player.”

The links with the Mariners, Ferencváros in Hungary and China’s Chengdu Blades eventually ended. Rogic has played over 250 times for Celtic, winning five Scottish Premiership titles and five Scottish Cups and appearing in the Champions League.