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Celtic sign ‘raw’ winger Jonathan Afolabi from Southampton as youngster Liam Morrison seals dream move to Bayern Munich

© PAJonathan Afolabi watches Celtic edge past Dunfermline
Jonathan Afolabi watches Celtic edge past Dunfermline

Neil Lennon last night confirmed Celtic have signed Jonathan Afolabi.

The 19-year-old winger left Southampton after being told he was surplus to requirements, and the Hoops beat rival clubs from England, Russia and Spain to get him.

“He’s here. He’s a young lad, and we’ve signed him on a free transfer,” said Lennon. “I think it’s a two-year deal. He’s on the cusp of development and first team, so he’ll come in and train with us and we’ll get a good look at him in the next couple of weeks.

“Then we’ll decide what we want to do with him in terms of where his progression is.

“He had a great tournament in the U-19 Euros with Ireland. He’s raw, but we feel he has good potential.”

Celtic are also in the hunt for £4m Norwegian international right-back Omar Elabdellaoui of Olympiakos, a player they were interested in back in January.

Heading out the door, though, is Scottish teenager Liam Morrison who has quit the Hoops to join Bayern Munich.

The defender, 16, was part of Lennon’s squad that travelled to Austria and Switzerland in pre-season but has chosen not to sign a professional contract in Glasgow.

“I’m really looking forward to wearing the jersey of this big club soon,” Morrison told the Bayern website.

Liam Morrison in action for Celtic

The Celtic boss meanwhile has revealed his message to his players, who he gathered together on the Celtic Park pitch following their extra-time League Cup win over Dunfermline.

“I told them I was proud of them. They had been through a really stiff test of character, real examination and come out of it the other side,” he said.

“They won’t see it the way I see it. I played in a great Celtic side and we had days like that.

“I remember a penalty shoot out against Partick Thistle which I think went to 10-8 or something like that and they were a Championship side at the time.

“I got knocked out by Morton on my first season here so they have come through a really stiff examination, psychologically, rather than a football one.”

The Celtic boss is meanwhile hopeful of being near to full strength for the visit of AIK Stockholm to Celtic Park on Thursday night in the Europa League play-off.

“Kris Ajer popped his shoulder. I think it is back in place now so we are hoping he will be okay for Thursday as he is a really important player for us,” he said.

“The rest of them: Mikey had cramp and Boli cramped up as well. They should be fine.

“We rested Scott Brown and Jozo Simunovic here but they will be back too.”