Celtic, as you would expect has rejected any loan move proposals for Liel Abada that have been put to the club by three English Championship sides and there is also talk of interest in the winger from both France and Germany.
The source of this transfer story comes from Abada’s homeland, where there seems to be considerable hostility towards Celtic due to the Celtic supporters backing for the Palestinian people, amid the ongoing Israeli assault on what remains of their territory.
Liel Abada signed a new contract extension at Celtic earlier this season which runs through to the summer of 2027 and he has just returned from a long term injury, ironically picked up on international duty with Israel last September. His season is effectively just getting underway and Abada starred at the weekend in his first start in four months against Buckie Thistle in the Scottish Cup.
As we mentioned on The Celtic Star recently, Abada received a brilliant reception from the Celtic support when he was substituted. So despite rumblings of discontent from some media outlets with an agenda back in Israel, Liel Abada remains a very popular player at Celtic and just as importantly, one who can make a huge impact in the second half of the season as the Hoops look to retain both the Scottish Premiership title and the Scottish Cup.
Today the Daily Mail has reported that Southampton, West Brom and Watford have all had loan enquires rejected by Celtic and quite righty so, don’t know what they’ve been smoking but perhaps we should send them some nic pouches to hinder the habit. The report, taken from Israeli media outlet Mako, quotes a nameless ‘close associate’ of Liel Abada as follows:
“It’s a very difficult time for Liel, whose great love for the State of Israel is known, Liel is a true patriot. Celtic only renewed his contract last September, so any decision regarding the loan or is in their hands and they see Liel as a very important player. He has offers from Germany, France and England, teams are ready to ask the player until the end of the season, but at the moment does not allow it.
“Liel really wants to return to the fields, enjoy and of course do what he knows best, which is to score goals. We estimate that a decision regarding his possible transfer already in the current winter window will be made in the coming days by the club.”
Celtic has a business model and Liel Abada, whose stats are excellent in his time at Celtic, is a considerable asset and one that Celtic will trade on IF and only IF the price is right. See the Jota transfer from last summer as an example of that in action. Loan moves are fine for squad players who can’t get a game for the first team. That’s clearly NOT the case with Liel Abada and no amount of anti-Celtic propaganda coming from nameless sources via the Israeli media is going to change that.
IF this report is accurate – and that’s a BIG IF – then Brendan Rodgers, always a brilliant man-manager, would have every right to feel disappointed in the player. Abada has no problem at Celtic and has face no hostility whatsoever. He has a contract and should be focused on contributing on the park for the club that pays his considerable wages. IF he wants away then Celtic’s valuation has to be met, it’s as simple as that.
The Green Brigade’s links with the Palestinian cause also pre-dates Liel Abada signing for Celtic and all during his countrymen Nir Bitton’s time at Celtic – lasting for around a decade – there was never any hostility shown towards him, indeed he was always a popular player at Celtic.
Celtic is and has always been a club open to all. That’s never going to change.