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Hearts owner Romanov: I wanted £7m for Hartley when he went to Celtic

Disgruntled Heart of Midlothian owner Vladimir Romanov has revealed that he wanted to sell Paul Hartley for as much as £7million back in 2007.

The former Hearts midfielder was desperate to move to Celtic in the winter transfer market in that year and Romanov, who is looking to sell the Edinburgh club, said he was looking for a nice fee from the Hoops but had to settle for significantly less because of Hartley's desire to leave.

"Paul Hartley scored 16 goals from midfield in half a season - there wasn't even a player as good as that in England at the time," Romanov said.

"And he came to me on the last day of the transfer window at 5pm and begged to sign for Celtic.

"So I said okay you can go if they give us £7m. But they offered £1.1m and I accepted it just for him.

"Two years later he returns and asks to come back because they haven't played him!

"I came to Scotland with the best of intentions - I'd had enough of the criminals in football in Russia.

"Then suddenly I came across a young player, who wouldn't renew his contract, then another and another."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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