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Celtic sign Israeli full-back as Tierney exit talk rumbles on

Hatem Abd Elhamed joins Neil Lennon’s side on a four-year deal.

New Celtic signing, Hatem Abd Elhamed.
New Celtic signing, Hatem Abd Elhamed.

CELTIC HAVE COMPLETED the signing of Israeli full-back Hatem Abd Elhamed from Hapoel Be’er Sheva as rumours linking Kieran Tierney to Arsenal continue to rumble on.

The 28-year-old joins the reigning Scottish treble champions on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

“We are really pleased to bring Hatem to Celtic, another player we think can make an important contribution to the club,” manager Neil Lennon said on Wednesday.

He is a player with real attributes, he is strong and quick and I have been impressed with what I have seen of him.

“We look forward to welcoming him to Celtic and joining up with the squad.”

Elhamed added: “It is an absolute honour to sign for this great club, one of the world’s truly great football clubs and I could not be happier.

When you play football you want to climb to the top and be the best you can be, and I know that I have found the best place for me – a club that has a tradition of playing quick, attacking, exciting and successful football and I am delighted that I am going to be part of this.”

The signing comes amid speculation linking highly-rated full-back Tierney to the Premier League this summer.

Celtic v Aberdeen - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Celtic Park Celtic's Kieran Tierney. Source: Jeff Holmes

Arsenal are said to been keen on the left-back’s services, but an improved £25 million (€28 million) bid – composed of an initial fee and multiple add-ons – has also been rejected.

Lennon said of the speculation: “It can be an unsettling period for any player and that is understandable but until a club comes up with any sort of realistic valuation of the player we don’t have to do anything and we won’t.

“The club’s valuation of Kieran has not been met and until then we don’t have a discussion to make. I don’t know what Arsenal’s financial state is.

“I know what ours is and we are quite comfortable with the situation at the moment.

“There has been a second bid, the bid has been rejected and it’s as you were. He’s a great player and a great talent. He’s just 22 years old and has so much more to give to the game.”

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