New Celt receives farewell salute

CELTIC'S squad strengthening moves will be bolstered by the completion of Stefan Johansen's £2million transfer from Stromsgodset within the next 24 hours.

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Stefan Johansen has agreed personal terms with Celtic
Stefan Johansen has agreed personal terms with Celtic

The 23-year-old Norwegian midfielder flew into Glasgow last night for a medical, having already agreed personal terms before he left the Norwegian national team's camp in Abu Dhabi.

Johansen (pictured) is expected to ink a four-year-deal today when he will join Iceland striker, Holmbert Fridjonsson, as the first of Neil Lennon's January recruits.

As he headed for face-to-face talks with Celtic chief executive, Peter Lawwell, Johansen explained why he was prepared to ignore other interested clubs and come to Celtic. He said: "Obviously, it's Champions League. They are leading the Scottish Premiership, so it is a big attraction. I'm a passing player and Celtic try to play that way." He added: "If all goes to plan, I will have the medical and I'm very happy if it works out."

Johansen leaves the Norwegians champions with a glowing reference, boss Ronny Delia.

"I'm proud I have been allowed to develop a player such as Stefan," said Delia. "He has an intensity in his defensive work from midfield, and he has a vision very few others have.

"Stefan also has been blessed with a natural passing game and was a creative factor in our team. He's also a winner."

While the Hoops are delighted to have secured the Norwegian League's Player of the Year, they are making no progress in contract talks with the representatives of Georgios Samaras and Joe Ledley.

If neither man agrees to accept the offer on the table, it will give Lennon more wages to try and entice fresh faces. A goalscorer remains his priority, though the pursuit of the men on his wishlist is proving every bit as difficult as Lennon feared it would be.

If his first-line targets prove to be unattainable at this time, tentative enquiries regarding Leigh Griffiths could be firmed up.

The former Livingston, Dundee and Hibs striker is understood to be very keen to make the move back to Scotland from Molineux.

He is six months into a two-year contract at the League One club after he returned from a loan spell at Easter Road last summer.

But Griffiths, who has scored 13 goals this season, is understood to be earning much less than the average wage available at Parkhead.

With Wolves boss Kenny Jackett signing hitman Nouha Dicko from Wigan for £300,000, the door appears open for Griffiths to leave.

Wolves have also been linked with Celtic youngster, Callum McGregor, who has caught the eye of several managers in England during his loan period with League One club Notts County.

Jackett has denied they have tabled a £750,000 offer to Celtic for the 20-year-old attacking midfielder.

But there is definite interest. And if Celtic do make their move for Griffiths, the youngster could become part of the deal.

Football

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