Celtic agree deal to sign Israeli defender Hatem Abd Elhamed

Celtic have agreed a deal to sign Hapoel Be’er Sheva defender Hatem Abd Elhamed for a fee of around €2 million, according to reports in Israel.

According to SportsWalla, Celtic will pay €2 million initially with a further €300,000 for the versatile defender should Celtic reach the group stages of the Champions League.

We told you last week how Celtic pushed forward to sign the 28-year-old after missing out on their initial targets of Jack Stacey and Tommy Smith. Now it looks like the deal has been finalised and Elhamed will slot into Celtic’s right back position, currently filled by Kristoffer Ajer for Celtic’s two Champions League qualifiers.

Celtic are also set to offer former Leicester City defender Danny Simpson a trial next week with a view to offer the player a permanent deal, but such a move has met with a lot of opposition due to his convicted for domestic abuse in 2015.

The signing of Elhamed will be a massive step in solving the club’s right back problem after the departures of Mikael Lustig, Cristian Gamboa and Jeremy Toljan at the end of last season. And with youngster Anthony Ralston looking as though he won’t be trusted by Lennon to be one of the two right back options, it could spell a departure for the 20 year old - albeit out on loan again.

Elhamed previously played in Europe with spells at Dinamo Bucharest and Gent, before returning to Israel with Ashdod and then moving to Be’er Sheva - where his performances secured his first call up to the Israeli national side last month.