Celtic sign Christopher Jullien for £7 million on a four year deal
Celtic laid down a marker to the other Premiership clubs with the £7 million signing of French defender Christopher Jullien from Toulouse on a four-year deal.
The 26-year-old defender, a product of Auxerre’s youth system, moves to Celtic Park after three years with the French Ligue One side after making 105 appearances, scoring seven goals. Following spells with German side SC Freiburg and Dijon.
Following the official unveiling of Jullien, manager Neil Lennon said: “We are absolutely delighted to bring Christopher to Celtic. He is a quality player with great attributes and we are very much looking forward to him joining the squad and working with him.
“We’ve got a squad of great quality already here at the club, who have achieved incredible success over the past few seasons, but it’s always good to add further quality to the group, and that’s what we’ve got with Christopher.
“I know the players will be delighted to welcome him into the squad, and I know he will be keen to play his part in the seasons ahead as we look to deliver further success for our supporters.”
And the Celtic new boy can’t wait to get started and targeted Champions League qualification.
Speaking exclusively to Celtic TV, Jillien said: “I’m really happy to be here. I’ve had a warm welcome, so everything is perfect. I can’t wait to start here. I already know the stadium is amazing and the fans are crazy and really get behind the team.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in front of these fans. It’s an experience I’m excited for and, like I say, I just can’t wait to get started. I’m so happy to be finally be here.”
Jillien will now link up with his new Celtic team mates this weekend, who are currently in the middle of their pre-season training camp in Austria and Switzerland, with the familiar face of former Toulouse teammate Odsonne Edouard set to welcome him.
He added: “I know many of the French players who have played here by name. I know Odsonne personally because I played with him two years ago with Toulouse. I can’t wait to see him. We’ve spoken a lot in the past week and he’s told me he can’t wait to have me in the team.
“I cheered him on last year when I saw all the good goals he was bringing to the team and the trophies he won. I’m going to join the team on Sunday and I’m going to try and be ready for these big games coming up so I can help the team bring Champions League football back to this stadium.”
Jillien also paid tribute to Neil Lennon, who travelled to Paris on his birthday to convince the central defender to sign for the club. A move that the 6ft 5 defender appreciated.
“He came to Paris on his birthday to meet me, and I thank him for that,” said Jillien. “He was in the training camp but he told me he was excited to meet me in Paris and, for me, it's a great feeling to have a coach who really wants you and was just happy to see me.
“It was really nice for him to come to me and make that first contact. He's a really nice guy and I can't wait to join his team and work for him and do the best that I can. It’s really an exciting time in my career to come here to the best club in Scotland. The club has a great history and I just want to be part of it.”
And with Celtic’s french connection growing once more, Jillien is looking to make the same impact at Celtic as his compatriots have done during their time in Glasgow.
He added: “My goal is to come here and have as big an impact as possible, and play the best that I can. I’m just looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and then playing alongside them, and also playing in front of our fans at Celtic Park.
“When I was in France I heard a lot of good things about Celtic. Odsonne made a great impact last season. When he was at Toulouse, he didn’t make that impression, but everything he’s done here and the player he has become now at Celtic is a really good thing. So, in France, everyone is saying good things about Scotland and the French players here.
“I prefer other people to speak about me rather than speak about myself. All I can say to the Celtic fans is that I can’t wait to play in front of them in the stadium. It’s going to be a good feeling and I am going to give everything that I can.”