Celtic salvage Stefan Scepovic transfer deal

CELTIC last night dramatically salvaged their £2.2 million move for Serbian international striker Stefan Scepovic from Spanish side Sporting Gijon as he signed a four-year contract with the Scottish champions.

Stefan Scepovic signed a deal with Celtic despite fears the Serb was joining Getafe. Picture: AP
Stefan Scepovic signed a deal with Celtic despite fears the Serb was joining Getafe. Picture: AP

The 24-year-old had pulled out of joining Celtic on Sunday as an alternative offer from Getafe was put on the table.

But when that deal collapsed late yesterday afternoon, Celtic re-ignited their own negotiations and after sitting down again with his representatives announced Scepovic’s signature had been secured less than an hour before the transfer window closed at 11pm.

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Speaking early on transfer deadline day, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell had explained to Sky Sports News: “Last night we were told he didn’t want to come, he had changed his mind, which was extremely disappointing. He passed his medical on Saturday. Everything was fine. We don’t understand it.

“We’d agreed with the club and himself. We were just at the point of signing the contract.”

On a frantic day of activity for Ronny Deila’s side, Swedish international striker John Guidetti arrived at Celtic Park after Manchester City gave him the go ahead to discuss a season-long loan deal.

A quartet of forwards, meanwhile, were shipped out on loan by Celtic with Teemu Pukki and Holmbert Fridjonsson both joining Danish club Brondby, Amido Balde moving to Belgian club Waasland-Beveran and Scottish under-21 international Dylan McGeouch joining Hibernian.

Guidetti, a 22-year-old Swede, was set to become Celtic’s fifth loan capture of the summer transfer window.

Guidetti joined City as a 16-year-old, briefly returning to Swedish side IF Brommapojkarna on loan, before making his debut for the English club in 2010.

He spent some time on loan at Burnley before hitting the heights at Feyenoord with 20 goals in 23 games during a sensational loan spell in 2011-12, the highlight of which was a hat-trick against Ajax. He made his full international debut during that season but missed the chance to play in Euro 2012 when illness caused a leg problem that kept him out for a lengthy period.

Guidetti returned to action last season and joined Stoke on loan in January, making six appearances off the bench.

Palermo, Ajax, Fiorentina and Olympiacos were all linked with a move for the player this summer. Celtic told Virgil van Dijk he would not get the move he craved, but the defender’s mood was cheered when he earned his first Netherlands call-up for a friendly against Italy and European Championship qualifier against the Czech Republic.

Another player leaving Celtic is Dylan McGeouch, who has moved to Hibernian on loan until the end of the season.

Hibs, who failed in a bid to re-sign Leigh Griffiths on loan from Celtic, have also brought in 19-year-old Southampton striker Jake Sinclair on a season-long loan. His signing came after it was confirmed that Hibs forward Farid El Alagui had ruptured his Achilles tendon, which will keep him out for most if not all of the season.

Ross County have re-signed Dundee United forward Michael Gardyne on loan until 19 January, and have also completed the signing of Darren Barr following his release from Kilmarnock. County also announced the signing of Celtic player Jackson Irvine, who spent last season in a similar loan deal at Kilmarnock.

Partick Thistle have signed 23-year-old former Liverpool and Blackpool striker Nathan Eccleston. The forward, who has signed until the end of the season, made nine first-team appearances for Liverpool, also playing on loan for Huddersfield, Charlton and Rochdale, before spending two years at Blackpool.

Falkirk have signed Aberdeen full-back Joe Shaughnessy on loan until January and winger David Smith from Hearts on a two-year deal.

Hearts have loaned striker Gary Oliver to Stenhousemuir until January while goalkeeper Lee Hollis has left Tynecastle following a short spell as emergency cover.

Two players departed Dundee. Centre-back Kyle Benedictus has joined former boss Barry Smith at Alloa on a season-long loan while goalkeeper Grant Adam has left the club following a short stint as cover.

Rangers loaned out four young players who have gained first-team experience.

Striker Calum Gallagher has joined Scottish Championship rivals Cowdenbeath on loan until January.

The 19-year-old scored on his Rangers debut against Dunfermline in March and made a total of five appearances before the end of the season, but has not featured in the new campaign.

Midfielder Robbie Crawford, who made 45 appearances before finding himself unable to break into the first team this season, has joined Morton on loan for four months.

Defender Daniel Stoney has joined Stranraer and centre-back Luca Gasparotto has moved to Airdrie. A fifth Rangers player, Craig Halkett, has signed for Clyde until January while Bully Wee boss Barry Ferguson has also brought in Kilmarnock player Euan Smith on loan.


Stefan Scepovic, Sporting Gijon to Celtic, £2.2 million

Teemu Pukki, Celtic to Brondby on loan

Amido Balde, Celtic to Beveren on loan

Holmbert Fridjonsson, Celtic to Brondby on loan.

Jake Sinclair, Southampton to Hibernian on loan

Dylan McGeouch, Celtic to Hibernian on loan

Gary Oliver, Hearts to Stenhousemuir on loan

David Smith, Hearts to Falkirk on two-year deal

Lee Hollis, released by Hearts after short-term deal

Joe Shaughnessy Aberdeen to Falkirk on loan

Calum Callagher, Rangers to Cowdenbeath on loan

Robbie Crawford, Rangers to Morton on loan

Daniel Stoney, Rangers to Stranraer on loan

Luca Gasparotta, Rangers to Airdrie on loan

Michael Gardyne, Dundee United to Ross County on loan

Darren Barr, signed for Ross County as free agent

Jackson Irvine, Celtic to Ross County on loan

Kyle Benedictus, Dundee to Alloa on loan

Grant Adam, released by Dundee

Nathan Eccleston, free agent to Partick