Joe Ledley to join Celtic as Walter Smith bemoans transfer prices

JOE Ledley was in Glasgow last night finalising a transfer to Celtic after agreeing personal terms, believed to be a wage of around £25,000-a-week, while earlier in the day Jimmy Bullard toured the club's Lennoxtown training complex as he mulls over a loan move from Hull.

Wales international midfielder Ledley, 23, snubbed a move to Stoke City to head to the SPL, meaning Cardiff City, whose cash crisis has seen them hit with a transfer embargo, will lose out on a compensation windfall for the out-of-contract Ledley.

Celtic, who also hope to recruit Bullard on a wages-only basis, have exploited a Fifa loophole which will see Ledley arrive a Bosman free as they are classed as a "foreign" club.

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Rangers manager Walter Smith, meanwhile, admits he is being priced out of the transfer market. Smith signed a new one-year deal after agreeing an improved budget to sign players following direct talks with representatives of Lloyds Banking Group.

But the size of the fees being demanded by clubs and players means Smith is struggling to get his targets in as fans await the club's first signing since August 2008.

"Market forces are against us right now and that is happening a lot," Smith told "Everyone says we have a small group of players and that we will need to bring new ones in and, of course, that is correct. But when we are looking around it's difficult to achieve the balance of getting the level of player you want given the level of finance available."