Defender asks to miss Europa League tie as other Celtic targets move elsewhere

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Celtic have already added three defenders to their squad this summer, however they still have a key need to bring in a right-back to replace Mikael Lustig.

According to The Daily Record, Celtic target Hatem Abd Elhamed asked to miss Hapoel Beer Sheva’s Europa League game last night, despite being fit to play.

The Israeli international has been linked with a move to join Neil Lennon’s side over recent weeks as he continues to look for the final piece of his defence going into the season.

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Kristopher Ajer played well at right-back against FK Sarajevo on Tuesday, however it forced Nir Bitton to cover in defence and that surely can’t be a long term solution for the upcoming year.

The news comes as other Celtic targets appear set for moves elsewhere.

The Daily Record reported that Stoke City appeared to beat The Hoops to the signing of Huddersfield right-back Tommy Smith, who had been a key target for Lennon.

The BBC has also reported that Bournemouth completed the signing of Jack Stacey from Luton, again getting in front of Celtic to complete the deal.

Anthony Ralston was left on the bench on Tuesday despite being the only recognised right back in the squad, so it’s clear the manager doesn’t trust him to play big games.

Abd Elhamed can play anywhere across the back line, but doesn’t appear to be Celtic’s first choice to fill the position of need. Yet as some of their targets move elsewhere, they may be forced to make a move quickly for whoever is still available.

Celtic have already officially added Christopher Jullien, Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo and Luca Connell to their squad this summer.

Celtic target Hatem Abd Elhamed
Celtic target Hatem Abd Elhamed
More Stories anthony ralston hatem abd elhamed Jack Stacey Neil Lennon Tommy Smith