Hamstring injury scare could see early Celtic return for Abada

As reported on The Celtic Star this morning, Liel Abada’s transfer speculation has reached a new peak this morning with Daily Mail’s Stephen McGowan advising his readership that our Israeli winger is attracting interest from EPL side Southampton, with the South Coast side apparently ready to bid £10m this summer. McGowan reports:

Orestis Kiomourtzoglou of Hearts vies with Liel Abada of Celtic during the Heart of Midlothian v Celtic Scottish Cup match at Tynecastle Stadium on 11 March, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
‘Southampton are preparing a £10million summer move for Celtic winger Liel Abada. And the Parkhead club are prepared to listen to offers after talks over a pay rise for the 21-year-old failed to secure agreement.
‘Abada sparked an injury scare on Monday when a hamstring muscle problem saw him limp out of training with Israel ahead of their Euro 2024 qualifiers. With the player now a doubt for the qualifying double header against Kosovo and Switzerland, he could return to Glasgow where discussions over a new contract have reached stalemate.
‘With no sign of a breakthrough, Avi Luzon – president of Abada’s former club Maccabi Petah Tikva – believes the wide man is now certain to be sold this summer. He hopes his club will benefit from a hefty sell-on clause if a transfer goes through.’
Lie Abada of Celtic FC controls the ball during the Sydney Super Cup match between Celtic and Everton at Accor Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

With Maccabi Petah Tikva due a sell on fee from the deal which took Abada from Israel to Scotland for £3.5m in the summer of 2021, the mooted transfer fee seems somewhat on the short side, when it comes to Celtic making a significant profit on the deal. However, Stephen McGowan has regularly proven himself to be particularly accurate when it comes to matters concerning Celtic, and there is little reason to believe his sources won’t have come from inside Celtic as well as any confirmation from the Southampton end of the proposed deal.

With Abada having previously been reported as having refused an offer of a contract extension in November, at the same time Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis also failed to agree fresh terms, it seems a summer exit for the 21 year old winger will follow the January transfers of Juranovic and Giakoumakis – although no doubt Celtic will be hoping the now public information regarding Southampton’s interest will smoke out further potential suitors and hopefully push up the transfer value of the player in turn.

READ THIS…Why early Liel Abada Celtic exit would be a major error

Celtic’s Israeli striker Liel Abada attends a team training session at the Celtic Training Centre in Lennoxtown, north of Glasgow on October 24, 2022, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group F football match against Shakhtar Donetsk.(Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

That would be of particular interest to Celtic as Southampton’s EPL future is far from guaranteed given their position at the foot of top flight English football, with Abada unlikely to be attracted to Southampton should they be playing Championship football next season.

It now seems we could be into the last few weeks of Liel Abada’s time as a Celtic player but there is no reason to suggest Abada is anything but committed to Celtic for the remainder of a season which could feasibly see Celtic lift a domestic treble, and that would be a good way for the Israeli winger to bow out on a high.

To do that however Abada will not only need to be mentally focused on Celtic he will also have to be fit enough for selection. As such McGowan’s confirmation that Abada has suffered a hamstring injury whilst on international duty is certainly a concern.

Celtic are already dealing with injury concerns surrounding Aaron Mooy and Reo Hatate, whilst both Cameron Carter-Vickers and Greg Taylor appear to be playing with niggling concerns which require careful management. As such, the loss of Liel Abada for any length of time will also be a worry for Ange Postecoglou as Celtic look to hit peak form for the title run in and a tilt at a possible treble.

Niall J


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As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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