Report: Celtic veteran Nir Bitton had a hand in Bhoys' approach for Liel Abada

By Euan Davidson

July 14, 2021

Celtic utility man Nir Bitton had a key role in the Bhoys’ approach for Israeli attacker Liel Abada, according to reports in Israel.

Israeli outlet Ynet state that Bitton, Abada’s international team-mate, talked to both the player and the club about a potential move. Celtic are believed to be close to sealing a deal for attacker, who scored 13 goals for Maccabi Petah Tikva last season [Transfermarkt].

Some supporters are cynical about the influence of agent Dudu Dahan. However, it appears there’s more to the move than the recommendation of an agent.

Ynet states a move to Celtic is all but wrapped up. The Bhoys are set to spend £3.5m on the once-capped Israeli international. According to the outlet, Abada is completing a medical in Glasgow today.

It represents significant strengthening in a position of weakness for Celtic last season. However, Karamoko Dembelé is building form under Ange Postecoglou. Equally, James Forrest should be fit to start the league season. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see how much game-time Abada can get in 21-22.

Abada’s father certainly seems keen on the move. In quotes attributed to the Daily Record, Ronen Abada said of his son:

“We were severely burned from the saga with Dynamo Kiev.

“It was extremely difficult for Liel to pick up the pieces after that deal collapsed.

“This time, we have been very careful with the negotiations with Celtic and we are extremely confident he will sign.

“Not many boys of his age would have been able to bounce back from that kind of disappointment and deal with the expectations after that.

“He will be in good hands at Celtic and we are waiting at home for the news to be confirmed.”

Nir Bitton and his Liel Abada recommendation could pay dividends for Celtic

At just 19, Abada is definitely an exciting prospect. His current boss, Guy Luzon has described him in glowing terms. According to the former Standard Liege and Charlton Athletic boss, we are on the cusp of signing “the best finisher in the Israeli league”.

It’s also interesting to note that players have influence in transfer policy. Some will read that as a failing of the scouting network at Celtic. Or, that we’re using Nir Bitton instead of a sporting director.

Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Bongarts/Getty Images

However, it’s normal for players to have some input at their club. If anything, it’d be stranger if Bitton saw a potential signing for Celtic at international level, and didn’t say anything.

So, this isn’t something to necessarily be worried by. It’s not as simple as Bitton saying “go and get this guy”. Celtic will have done their research on a multi-million pound signing. What’s more, Abada will have passed the Ange Postecoglou test if the club are to sew up a deal.

Will this open the floodgates in terms of signings? Celtic have limited time to get more players through the door in time for the Champions League registration window. If the Bhoys plan to field new players against FC Midtjylland, then they have to be registered by tomorrow.

With Forrest most likely missing the first leg, depth on the right flank is a necessity.

READ MORE: Ismaila Soro continues to be a class act