Mohammed Abu Fani is latest as Maccabi Haifa take a stance on UCL qualifying over Celtic interests
Celtic-linked midfielder Mohammed Abu Fani is set to stay at Maccabi Haifa until their Champions League 2nd round qualifier against Olympiacos.
Over the past few weeks, reports have suggested the 24-year-old will leave the current Israeli champions after rising through the youth ranks at Maccabi Haifa. [Sport 5]
Abu Fani has attracted interest from clubs across Europe, including Celtic, who are reportedly “considering” a move. [Daily Record]
While the player is expected to move on, his current club have said they won’t oppose him should a suitable offer come their way during the summer window.
The same report states that if Celtic were to seek action at this stage of the window, they might be forced to wait to secure the services of Abu Fani.
With Maccabi Haifa set to enter the Champions League qualifiers, the Israeli side are keen to keep the highly rated midfielder until the end of their 2nd qualifying round next month.
Haifa faces a tough test in its quest to qualify as it prepares to face Greek champions Olympiacos.
Although they would like to see Abu Fani stay for the draw, the report also states that they will only allow the internationalist with 14 caps to leave before these two legs if an ‘exceptional offer’ arrives.
Celtic interest in Abu Fani could end if Postecoglou is forced to wait
At the start of the summer transfer window, Ange Postecoglou and Celtic were heavily linked with a move for a new defensive midfielder.
After Nir Bitton’s exit, this is clearly a position the Hoops boss is looking to fill within his squad.
Vinicius Souza is an option that seems to be on the 56-year-old’s radar as the Brazilian prepares to decide his future.
Having kept a close eye on Abu Fani during the last international break, the Maccabi man appears to be another player Postecoglou was potentially considering for the job.
However, the Celtic manager has said a few times that he wants his new arrivals to join the club for pre-season.
If Abu Fani stays by his side for their first Champions League qualifiers, he will still be in Israel at the end of July.
Of course, that’s when Postecoglou and his team will prepare for their Scottish Premiership opener against Aberdeen.
Thus, this could prevent Celtic from making a move for the Israeli internationalist and instead move on to other options which will be available immediately.
In other news, Harry Kewell ‘blown away’ by first impressions of Celtic and Lennoxtown.
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