Johnny Russell admits he'll never give up hope of signing for his boyhood heroes Celtic after missing out on a dream move in 2013.

The Hoops had lodged several bids to try an entice Dundee United into allowing one of their prized assets to leave the club for Parkhead. Eventually it would be Derby County who swooped with a more substantial offer that was eventually accepted.

Russell spent five years at Pride Park and thoroughly enjoyed his stay where he notched 34 goals in 203 appearances all-in. But he will always regret the missed opportunity to play for the team he has always supported.

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"I always said the dream was to play for Celtic but it's never happened," he told Herald and Times Sport. "That's football. The season I went to Derby there were a few bids made but Derby offered more and Celtic's bids were never accepted. If they had been matched I would've went to Celtic, I don't think there's any doubt about that.

"Of course [it remains on the bucket-list], nobody is going to turn down the opportunity to play for their heroes. It was always something I'd never give up hope on. You never know."

The door, then, remains open for a potential Celtic switch down the line for Russell, 30, who is preparing for the new MLS season to kick-off in April with Sporting Kansas City. The striker - who is out of contract when the campaign comes to an end - admits he'd happily sign a new deal to keep him in the US.

Though he would also have to give some serious thought to a switch back to Scottish football if the right opportunity presented itself. "You never know," he added. "It's not something I would ever turn my nose up at. I started in Scotland that's where I got my chance and it's where I'm from, so I'd never say no to it. 

"Right now I'm really happy here, this is my last year of my contract and I'm hoping to extend it here and we'll speak about it this season. But it's not something I'd ever say no to. If an opportunity was to come about that was too good to be true it's certainly something I'd think about."