Former Celtic winger Paddy McCourt signed a deal with Barnsley last night – despite an eleventh hour bid from an overseas club that boss David Flitcroft described as 'head-turning'.
The 29-year-old tricky star, who started his career at Rochdale and was a former team-mate of Flitcroft, penned a contract until the end of the season. He has trained at Oakwell throughout the week but had a late offer from a foreign club yesterday.
Flitcroft said: "Paddy was offered a fantastic financial package to go to a foreign club so he's been stewing over that hence the delay.
"We offered him a deal which was OK. The other offer he got was head-turning but he's still trained with us throughout the week. Paddy has got fitter although he has a long way to go with that. At 29, if he can turn his talent into working hard for his team then we'll have an exciting Championship player on our hands this season. He's a magician."
McCourt, who has won 13 caps for Northern Ireland, earned cult hero status at Celtic despite only starting 20 games in five seasons.
After signing for the Reds yesterday, he told the club's website: "I've known the manager a long time. He was good with me at Rochdale and I've had a few chats with him in the last week or so. I'm an attacking player who likes to create and score goals. I haven't done a full pre-season so it might take me a few weeks to get up to speed with the rest of the lads."
Meanwhile, Flitcroft is still deciding whether to sign midfielder Gary Dicker. The 27-year-old was released by Brighton at the end of the season and played for Barnsley Under 21s against Leeds on Monday.