Artur Boruc takes flight to seal £1.7m switch to Fiorentina
• Artur Boruc pulled out of Celtic's trip to North America at the 11th hour. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS
The 30-year-old goalkeeper dramatically pulled out of Celtic's pre-season trip to North America and was re-routed to Florence where, if he passes a medical, he is expected to sign a two-year contract with the Italian club.
Fiorentina confirmed the deal on their official website with other reports in Italy claiming the Serie A outfit's sporting director Pantalo Corvino had negotiated a fee of around 1.7 million for Boruc whose Celtic contract is due to expire in 12 months.
Boruc had joined the Celtic squad at Glasgow Airport yesterday morning as they set off for their four-match tour of the USA and Canada. But as transfer negotiations developed, he left them during their stopover in London to travel instead to Italy.
Since joining Celtic from Legia Warsaw in the summer of 2005, Boruc has been one of the club's most successful and controversial players. The Polish international collected six major honours in Scotland and attracted many more front and back page headlines for a series of on and off the field controversies. His compatriot Lukasz Zaluska and American goalkeeper Dominic Cervi will now compete for the No?1 position at Celtic, unless new manager Neil Lennon decides to try and recruit a replacement.
While Boruc departed, Lennon yesterday continued to reshape his squad when Welsh international midfielder Joe Ledley became his third summer recruit.
The 23-year-old, a free agent after leaving Cardiff City last month, turned down rival offers from English Premier League clubs Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion as he signed a four-year contract at Celtic.
Ledley joined his fellow newcomers, full-backs Charlie Mulgrew and Cha Du-ri who were secured on free transfers from Aberdeen and Freiburg respectively, in the Celtic party who open their pre-season programme with a friendly against MLS outfit Philadelphia Union tomorrow night.
"I'm looking forward to working with Neil and his coaching staff," said Ledley. "Hopefully we can win the league and cups and it gives me the opportunity to play in Europe too."
As Ledley completed his move, reports in Mexico claimed Celtic are close to signing 3 million-rated full-back Efrain Juarez from UNAM Pumas. The 22-year-old, who played for Mexico in the World Cup finals in South Africa, had an unsuccessful spell at Barcelona as a youngster but has revitalised his career back in his homeland.
Celtic's attempt to sign Hull City midfielder Jimmy Bullard on a season-long loan have collapsed, however, as a result of the 31-year-old's financial demands.
Adam Pearson, the Hull City head of football operations, said: "There was an agreement with Celtic in place, but now it seems Jimmy wants extra cash on top as well.
"Jimmy wanted an incentive to and that's his prerogative. But that incentive was too heavy for Celtic and I can understand that as the wages are heavy anyway. He has had four weeks to make up his mind and has strung people along."
Former Celtic captain Stephen McManus, meanwhile, was left out of Lennon's squad which arrived in Philadelphia last night. The Scotland defender remains hopeful of completing a move to Middlesbrough where he spent the second half of last season on loan.
Wingers Aiden McGeady and Niall McGinn also remained at home for treatment on injuries.
McGeady, who has been linked with a move to Aston Villa, will have a scan today on a thigh problem.x