Christopher Jullien: Odsonne Edouard advice key to Celtic move

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'Edouard convinced me to join Celtic'

Christopher Jullien says his "mind was made up" about signing for Celtic after speaking to compatriot Odsonne Edouard.

Defender Julien, 26, was a team-mate of Edouard's for a year at Toulouse and has signed a four-year contract to join his fellow Frenchman in a £7m deal.

The centre-back also played alongside the brother of former Celtic defender Bobo Balde.

"I spoke to Odsonne two weeks ago and he came to me first. He said, 'I hear your name a lot'," Julien said.

"We were just chatting and when it started getting serious I asked him a couple of questions and he told me a lot of good things about the club. After that, my mind was made up."

Rugged defender Balde was a fans' favourite at Celtic during an eight-year stay that included five league titles and a Uefa Cup final appearance.

"I know Bobo Balde was also at Celtic," Jullien added. "I know his little brother, Yasser. I played with him when I was younger at Auxerre. Every day he was speaking about what his brother did.

"I've heard a lot of good things about French players here and that's nice. It would be great if I could do as well as Bobo."

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'Balde's little brother told me about Celtic'

'I'm going to be on the staff's back'

Jullien is relishing the prospect of competing for silverware at Celtic after being accustomed to relegation struggles in his three seasons with Toulouse.

He revealed Celtic manager Neil Lennon flew from the club's Austrian training camp to Paris on Tuesday - the Northern Irishman's 48th birthday - to help clinch the deal.

And Jullien is not fazed by becoming the most expensive defender in Scottish football history as well as Celtic's second costliest signing.

"I've been speaking with the manager for the last three days," the former France under-20 centre-back said. "He came to Paris on his birthday to meet me, so I have to thank him for that.

"I'm not really focusing on the fee, more on what I can do. I know that this team last year did a really good job. That's a good pressure for me.

"It's a really exciting time for my career to come to such a historic club, the best club in Scotland. The fact you can chase trophies here was a really good thing in my mind.

"I said to the manager a few days ago, 'I really hope your staff is ready for me because I'm going to be on their back a lot'. My goal is to come here, progress a lot and become another man."

'Tall, a goal threat, but weak on the turn' - analysis

France-based football reporter Matt Spiro

Jullien is a strong, steady centre-half who has performed consistently well over the past three seasons in Ligue 1. His great strength is his aerial ability. At 6ft 5in, he is a towering presence, but is also excellent at timing his runs in to the opposition box at set pieces. He also reads the game pretty well.

His weakness would be his speed on the turn. This was exposed more last season following the departure of his partner and former club captain Issa Diop to West Ham, with Jullien caught out for several goals in the first part of last season. Although his form improved through the campaign, it was not his best season for Toulouse.

He already speaks excellent English, thanks to his partner, and is determined to play in the UK and succeed there.

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