Jonathan Barnett and the Bank of Scotland Premier League champions issued a joint statement yesterday after the former Wales international expressed his shock at reports the Hoops had accepted a cut-price offer of £500,000 from West Brom.
Barnett said: “There has been a lot of speculation with regards to John’s situation but at the moment, John is not certain to leave the club.
“I was given permission several months ago by Celtic to speak to other clubs in relation to John. This has been done and certain clubs have expressed an interest to Celtic.
“To suggest Celtic have acted improperly is totally inaccurate. I have always had excellent dealings with Celtic and in this case, as always, the club has acted professionally.”
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell, who also revealed they are speaking to former Manchester United star Quinton Fortune, admitted they have received a “degree of interest” in Hartson.