Trialist Ljuban Crepulja holds out hope of a Celtic deal

Ljuban Crepulja spent last week on trial at Celtic. Picture: SNS

Ljuban Crepulja spent last week on trial at Celtic. Picture: SNS

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Ljuban Crepulja has not given up hope of securing a move to Celtic despite his trial period with the Scottish champions being cut short this week.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila wanted more time to assess the 22-year-old Croatian midfielder who spent five days training with the first team squad at Lennoxtown.

But Crepulja’s current club Slaven Belupo insisted he returned home to prepare for their first friendly match following the mid-season break in Croatia when they play Slovenian side Krka on Saturday.

Crepulja, whose contract with Slaven Belupo expires in June, is available during the transfer window for a fee of around £300,000. He declined to give any indication if Celtic have informed him they will pursue their interest in him but was gushing as he discussed his short time in Glasgow.

“I cannot tell any details about my future, I cannot say that,” he told Goal.com. “For such information, you would have to ask Celtic.

“It is heaven on earth, you really cannot compare it to here. It’s another world. For me it was a fantastic experience to be part of Celtic, even if it was just those five days.

“Celtic is a big, well-known European club. Going into the ranks of such greats my career would be great. But, as I say, I am not allowed to reveal the details. It’s amazing when you feel that you respect the people there, all of whom are quite relaxed. You feel like a real player there. You are only thinking about football.

“There’s no big difference in training. And they are doing a lot with the ball like we do in Croatia, a lot of the time is spent on technique and tactics.”

Crepulja claims he initially attracted Celtic’s attention while they were watching another Croatian midfielder, Ivan Mocinic.

“Celtic scouts came to our match against Rijeka and they were there to see their player Mocinic,” he said. “But I spoke to them after the match and stuck around. Then I chased it up.”

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