BARRY Bannan is set to join Celtic on loan after Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew gave the green light for the Scotland midfielder to leave in search of game-time.
Despite Pardew’s initial reluctance to let the former Aston Villa winger leave, the arrival of Jordon Mutch on a £4.75 million deal earlier this month has paved the way for Bannan to return to the club he started his professional career with.
Bannan, who has 19 Scotland caps, has made just 18 appearances for Crystal Palace since joining from Villa in 2013 on a three-year deal.
His one goal came in a 1-0 win away to Hull City in November 2013.
The 25-year-old has been likened to Barcelona duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta, due to his small stature and vision.
Former Villa boss Gerard Houllier said Bannan was an ‘intelligent player, [who] can read the game well and adapt well’ while Ian Holloway, who signed Bannan for Palace, said he was a ‘beautiful footballer’.
Bannan was in the stands at Hampden yesterday to watch Celtic ease to a 2-0 victory over Rangers in the League Cup semi-final.