Celtic are interested to lure Hapoel Be’er Sheva central defender Hatem Abd Elhamed to the Celtic Park this summer, it has been reported.
The Celts are close to agreeing on a fee for Abd Elhamed, with the Scottish Sun claiming that signing him might cost around £1.6million.
The Scottish giants clinched the domestic treble during the previous campaign but to maintain their domestic superiority in the face of a possible Rangers resurgence as well as to find their feet in Europe, they must enhance the quality of their squad and look to increase the depth ahead of another daunting season.
Celtic have already completed the signings of Luca Connell, Christopher Jullien and Boli Bolingoli Mbombo. However, Neil Lennon is apparently keen to bolster his arsenal further before the start of the next season.
Notably, left-back Kieran Tierney is reportedly being monitored by Premier League side Arsenal. If the Bhoys lose him this summer, it would be a major loss for them as he has been one of their best players in recent times.
Hatem Abd Elhamed: Profile
Abd Elhamed emerged through the youth ranks of Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv and has represented teams such as Ashdod, Gent and Dinamo Bucuresti before making his move to Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the summer of 2017.
He had signed a five-year deal with his current employers but could now be on the move. Predominantly a central defender, he is capable of plying his trade as a right-back and his versatility could come in handy for Celtic.
Besides, he won his first cap for the Israel national side during his country’s outing against Poland in the Euro qualifiers last month after he replaced Celtic star Nir Bitton as a substitute.
Will he be a good signing for Celtic?
Abd Elhamed boasts of a lot of experience under his belt and his performances for Hapoel Be’er Sheva have been consistently good which probably caught Celtic’s eye in the first place. He is someone who is at the peak stage of his career and could help Celtic for the foreseeable future.
Lennon has Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic and his recent £7million acquisition Jullien on his books to cater to his side’s central defensive needs. However, Abd Elhamed would inject more competition for a place in the starting lineup
The Israel international is well-built, is a calm and composed player at the back and is decisive in his tackling. He has shown the necessary attributes to pique the interest of a big club like Celtic but his pedigree on the big stage will be tested with this transfer and Lennon has to be certain of his blueprint for the defender before going ahead with the move.