CELTIC'S summer signing target Szabolcs Huszti has signed for Zenit St Petersburg.

Gordon Strachan was desperate to bring the player on board at the end of this season on a Bosman deal.

The Parkhead club thought they were in with a great chance of securing the Hungarian midfielder on a pre-contract agreement this week.

But those plans were wrecked over the weekend when Zenit - managed by former Rangers manager Dick Advocaat - shelled out £2.5million to land him from Hannover.

Advocaat wants him to replaced £15m Arsenal-bound Andrei Arshavin in midfield and is thrilled at landing him.

He said: "I'm delighted to have signed Huszti as I think he can be a top player. I'm surprised to hear Celtic had made him a priority because, to my knowledge, they made no offer.

"If we had not signed him, he would have gone to Hamburg. If this was bad news for Celtic, then I am okay with that."

Celtic are thought to have viewed the midfielder as the perfect replacement for Shunsuke Nakamura should he decide to return to Japan in the summer.