Hatem Abd Elhamed: Neil Lennon says Celtic set to sign Israel defender

By Stefan Bienkowski BBC Sport Scotland

Celtic are poised to complete the signing of defender Hatem Abd Elhamed, manager Neil Lennon has confirmed.

Lennon said a deal had been agreed pending a medical, with work permit and visa applications also outstanding.

He also confirmed that Abd Elhamed, who has one cap for Israel, can play as a right-back or central defender.

"We think he's a good player. Strong defensively, very quick and I think he'd be a very good addition," Lennon said of the Hapoel Be'er Sheva player.

"In his last three seasons, he's played very well at a very good level. I'm really impressed with what I've seen of him."

Abd Elhamed, 28, joined Hapoel Be'er Sheva in 2017 from domestic rivals Ashdod, and played 27 times last season as they finished third in the Israeli top flight.

He has also had spells in Belgium with Charleroi and Gent, and in Romania with Dinamo Bucharest.

Meanwhile, Lennon also confirmed that the club had cancelled a trial for former Leicester City right-back Danny Simpson in light of Abd Elhamed's signing.

"We were down the line with Hatem and one or two other options so we just felt it would be futile to bring Danny in if he sees us bringing in other players in his specialised position," said Lennon.

'We had no intention of selling Tierney'

Lennon confirmed that there had been no fresh bids from Arsenal or Napoli for defender Kieran Tierney.

The Premier League side had made two offers for the Scottish international, however Celtic rejected both approaches stating that they did not meet their desired value for the player.

"There have been no, further in-roads in to that," said Lennon, referring to Arsenal's interest in the player. "Perhaps this is the endgame as far as Arsenal are concerned.

"We've always said we have no intention of selling. He's under a long-term contract and we want him to progress with us. Our evaluation of Kieran [Tierney] wasn't met and it's as simple as that."

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