Vasilis Barkas: Celtic sign Greece goalkeeper from AEK Athens

Celtic v AEK Athens in 2018
Vasilis Barkas helped AEK Athens knock Celtic out of the Champions League qualifiers in 2018

Vasilis Barkas says "I don't feel pressure" from a price tag reported to be around £4.5mexternal-link after completing his transfer to Celtic from AEK Athens.

The 26-year-old Greece goalkeeper has signed a four-year contract with the ambition of helping Celtic secure a historic Scottish league title.

"It is normal for prices to go up and up. I am an international player, so I think it is normal," Barkas said.

"I have come here for the 10th title in a row."

Netherlands-born Barkas, who has 10 caps for Greece, has played more than 100 games for AEK since joining from Atromitos in 2016 and appeared 33 times as his side finished third in the Greek Superleague last season.

He made only five league appearances as his side won the title in 2018, but he was their regular number one in European competition that season and experienced Celtic Park as his side defeated the Glasgow side in Champions League qualifying.

"I know it is a very big club and I know of its history and, when I played against Celtic, I remember the atmosphere, something totally different from Greece," he said.

"I know how important this season is, but it is not only 10 in a row. We are Celtic, so we must win every challenge. I am very excited, I am coming to play games and I am ready to play for this club."

Neil Lennon had been pursuing a new goalkeeper after Craig Gordon rejoined Hearts and Fraser Forster returned to Southampton following a loan spell.

Scotland international Scott Bain has played for Lennon's side during pre-season, while fellow goalkeeper Ross Doohan is close to joining Ross County on loan.

Barkas, who will hope to make his debut when the defending Scottish Premiership champions open their league campaign on Sunday at home to Hamilton Academical, paid tribute to AEK president Dimitris Melissanidis.

"He was the one who gave me the great opportunity for my football development," the goalkeeper told the AEK website. "He was the one who first believed in me to join AEK, the one who supported me all these years but also the one who helped me and understood that it was time for me to go one step further, fully respecting my own desire."

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