‘Thank You Hatem!’ Hapoel Be’er Sheva confirm defender’s transfer to Celtic

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CELTIC have officially agreed terms with Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva for Hatem Abd Elhamed.

The Israeli club have announced the transfer of their star defender to the Scottish Treble Winners. The fee is around £1.6million taking Celtic’s summer spend to the £12million mark.

The 28-year-old defender, capped once by Israel, will travel to Scotland shortly to have a medical and wait for the approval of a work permit.

Abd Elhamed, who joined Hapoel Be’er Sheva in August 2017, is a right-back but can also play as a centre-half.

He has had spells in Belgium with Charleroi and Gent (ironically the club Mikael Lustig moved to), and in Romania with Dinamo Bucharest, while he has also played for Ashdod in his homeland.

Hapoel Be’er Sheva today posted a thank you message to Hatem Abd Elhamed.

On their Facebook page they gave some further details. “Hatem will leave immediately for medical tests and work licenses in Scotland.

“Assuming the completion of the proceedings we wish Hatem good luck.”

We told you this morning that the Hapoel Be’er Sheva owner Alona Barkat last night confirmed that the clubs had reached agreement over a £1.6million transfer and the player will travel to Glasgow to finalise the deal in the next few days.

And Alona Barkat admitted that she was proud to have sold her club’s star player to a great team like Celtic.

“What I have said to Hatem will remain private between us. But I am the owner of a proud club that our player is going to play in a great team like Celtic.

“We are honoured and wish that all of our players fulfil their dreams,” she told the media, as reported by David Friel in Scottish Sun.

Hatem is likely to revert to his regular position of right back at Celtic, despite playing as a central defender for the past two seasons at the Israeli club.

Celtic’s other summer recruits so far are Christopher Jullien (£7m from Toulouse), Boli Bolingoli Mbombo (£3m from Rapid Vienna) and Luca Connell (a £35ok development fee to Bolton). And with £3.25million committed to signing David Turnbull from Motherwell, Celtic’s ambitions are becoming clearer as Neil Lennon is supported in the transfer market to re-shape the squad of Nine in a Row and then Ten…

Also on The Celtic Star today…

As the new domestic season edges closer for Celtic, a St Johnstone fan complains about having to pay £30 to see his side play at Celtic Park. That has implications for Celtic and none heading to Fir Park to support the Hoops will be paying this sum too. We look at the ticket prices for travelling fans HERE.

Chris Sutton had a pop at the Celtic support in his newspaper column today. Somehow the big guy has got it into his head that the Celtic support is not fully behind Neil Lennon as our manager. Niall J posted immediately to set the record straight on this one. Must have been a slow news day os something, read Niall’s response HERE.

Matt Corr’s Miss Sarajevo article the other day on The Celtic Star was among the finest articles we have ever posted. If you missed it the first time around it is certainly worth catching up on and you can do that HERE.

This morning Matt was talking us through what is going to happen in the Champions League all the way to the Group stages, assuming Celtic get there. Who we might play, who is seeded, which teams have already gone out and the significance that has for Celtic. Ahead of Monday’s Third Qualifying Round draw this is all you need to know – see HERE.

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