Mon. Jul 22nd, 2019

Celtic eye summer swoop for £700k-rated Norway winger Husein Balic

Celtic eye summer swoop for £700k-rated Husein Balic after he impressed for Austria at Euro U21 Championship

  • Celtic are in the market for a new winger and have identified Husein Balic
  • The speedy left winger is playing for St Polten and impressed at U21 Euros
  • Austrian is rated at around £700,000 and is entering final year of his contract
  • Reports claim Celtic are also working on deal for defender Hatem Abd Elhamed

Celtic have placed Austria Under-21 international Husein Balic on a list of summer targets.

A speedy left-winger, Balic caught the eye with his performances in this summer’s UEFA Under-21 Championship in Italy.

Currently playing for Austrian Bundesliga side St Polten, the Bosnian-born wide man is entering the final year of his contract. English clubs are also interested in the 23-year-old, who is rated in the £700,000 bracket.

Celtic are keen on signing Austrian winger Husein Balic after he impressed this summer

Contacted by Sportsmail on Thursday night, Balic’s agent Philipp Degen declined to comment.

Reports in Israel claim the Parkhead club are also working on a deal for defender Hatem Abd Elhamed.

Available for around £1.6million, the 28-year-old Be’er Sheva central defender can cover at right back and was recommended to the club by agent Dudu Dahan during recent talks in Glasgow.

Neil Lennon secured his third signing of the transfer window with the £3million capture of left back Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo on Wednesday.

And the Belgian insists he is fit and ready to fill the void if Kieran Tierney makes a £20million move to Arsenal or Napoli.

Recuperating from a double hernia operation, Tierney won’t be fit to face FK Sarajevo in the first leg of next week’s Champions League qualifier in Bosnia.

Balic (middle left, pictured battling with Mahmoud Nahoud) is available for around £700,000

Balic (middle left, pictured battling with Mahmoud Nahoud) is available for around £700,000

Claiming he feels ready to go straight into the team immediately, Bolingoli-Mbombo said: ‘I’m fit. I’m ready to play, so let’s see in the next days what can happen. 

‘My training here starts on Friday and we have a game on Tuesday, so I can say to the coach that I am fit, I am ready and he can take the decisions.

‘Rapid played three friendly games already. We started at the same moment as Celtic on June 19, so I’m ready.

‘We have done the training camp, they are still there now, and I am ready and fit to start the new season.’ 

Lennon’s third signing of the season after Christopher Jullien and Luca Connell, the cousin of Belgian superstar Romelu Lukaku, has signed a four-year deal. And Celtic could still move for OCG Nice left back Romain Perraud if or when Tierney leaves.

Bosnian-born wide man is entering the final year of his contract at Austria's St Polten

Bosnian-born wide man is entering the final year of his contract at Austria’s St Polten

Bolingoli-Mbombo claims he is mentally preparing himself to vie with the Celtic fans’ favourite for a starting place rather than replace him.

‘I know that he (Tierney) is a great player, one of the best in Scotland.

‘To me, it’s great to have the confidence of sharing this same position with the biggest player in Scotland.

‘If he is not there or if he is here, we will work hard. In the end, the coach can only put 11 players onto the pitch, but the rest always have to be ready to replace the other players.

‘I think I could learn a lot from Kieran also and what he’s done here in Scotland.

‘I just can’t wait to see him and learn from him. The only thing I know is that he is a similar type of player to me.’ 

Celtic have announced the signing of defender Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo from Rapid Vienna

Celtic have announced the signing of defender Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo from Rapid Vienna

Sportsmail first revealed Celtic’s interest in the former Club Brugge left back on June 24, with Burnley and Napoli also running checks.

‘You hear of other propositions, of course,’ he admitted.

‘But here is a good step for my career. When I heard that Celtic was very interested, then you cannot say no with the history and everything they have in the club and also the warm family that you feel over here.’ 

Celtic back-up goalkeeper Dorus de Vries, meanwhile, has quit Parkhead and hung up his gloves at the age of 38.

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