Liel Abada lifts the lid on the need for hush over his Celtic move

It is typical for any overseas player who receives an offer from Celtic to contact friends and associates with knowledge of the Parkhead club to glean helpful insights.

New Celtic winger: Liel Abada insists he will be on the ball if Ange Postecoglou turns to him for Tuesday's Champions League qualifier. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Liel Abada, in contrast, did not utter a word to anyone about a pursuit he first heard about almost two weeks ago - which concluded with the 19-year-old winger agreeing a four-year deal to make a £3.5million move from Maccabi Petah Tikva in his Israeli homeland on Thursday.

It wasn’t that Abada wouldn’t have had anyone to pass on info. Far from it, when he is represented by agent Dudu Dahan, who brokered the deals to take Nir Bitton, Hatem Abd Elhamed, Beram Kayal and Rami Gershon to Celtic and was responsible for Ofir Marciano’s move to Hibs. Instead, Abada kept schtum because the late collapse of a deal to take him to Dynamo Kiev in January was still raw; negotiations then falling apart owing to the Ukranian club’s demand he sign away his rights to resolve through FIFA and UEFA any future contract disputes. That experience led to the teenager electing to breathe a word to no-one about Celtic’s interest.

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“When that transfer didn't happen I preferred not to make too much noise this time,” he said, through an interpreter. “In Israel, almost nobody knew about my discussions with Celtic until just before I signed. Now? I am the happiest man in the world and I am happy to talk. I know that many players have come from Israel to Celtic in recent years but I had to keep things very discreet. But after I agreed everything then of course I called them. I spoke to Nir Bitton and Beram Kayal. Nir helped me a lot and gave me so much advice. Beram was also great with me. But since coming here I have spoken to a lot of people and they have also given me great information. My family have also supported me so much over the years and they have helped me a lot. I can't wait for them to come to Glasgow and watch me play for Celtic. They will be there for many games over the next few years.”

New Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou’s revitalising of the club’s attacking options took further shape with the £4.5m purchase of Japanese forward Kyogo Furuhashi from J-League club Vissel Kobe on Friday morning. The 26-year-old isn’t expected in Scotland before the start of next week, making it highly unlikely he could be considered for Postecoglou’s competitive opener that will bring FC Midtjylland to Glasgow’s east end for Tuesday’s Champions League second round qualifier.

Following Abada’s first training session at Lennoxtown on Friday, the Israeli declares himself “ready to play” - whether that is in Saturday evening’s friendly at home to Preston or the confrontation with the Danes. “If the coach asks me [for either game] it is no problem. I will always try to give the maximum I can for the team,” he said. “It is a dream for me to play in the Champions League. This is something I have always aimed for since I first started to kick a ball aged five. I want to do nice things at Celtic. The target for me is to win the Scottish title.”

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