Celtic close to Nir Biton FC Ashdod deal

Lennon: Hoping to tie up Biton deal. Picture: SNS
Lennon: Hoping to tie up Biton deal. Picture: SNS
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Celtic are on the brink of signing Israeli international midfielder Nir Biton from FC Ashdod for a £700,000 fee after his representatives flew into London last night.

FC Ashdod owner Jacky Ben Zaken met with Parkhead officials yesterday ahead of Celtic’s vital Champions League play-off tie with Shakhter Karagandy. Reports suggest that the Israeli side will sell the playmaker for under £1 million, but Ben Zaken is angling for a 20 per cent sell-on fee to be inserted into the deal.

A former Manchester City target, Briton is entering the final year of his deal with Ashdod and the club are keen to sell rather than risk losing him for nothing on a Bosman.

Though Celtic are still searching for a replacement for Victor Wanyama, the club will try to push through a deal for striker Teemu Pukki for around £3 million.

Meanwhile, 29-year-old Lazio defender Michael Ciani is also a target for Celtic, who has been told he can leave the club.