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Bruised and battered Kayal ready to move on

BIRAM KAYAL, who has just more than a year of his contract to run at Celtic, believes it may be time to move on to further his career.

Biram Kayal claims he will never forgive Rangers captain Lee McCulloch . Picture: SNS
Biram Kayal claims he will never forgive Rangers captain Lee McCulloch . Picture: SNS

The Israeli midfielder claims both Manchester United and Liverpool were close to making a move for him a few years ago, when he was being touted for around £7m. But a series of injuries and a loss of form has seen his value plunge, and Kayal admits he is losing his desire to play in Scotland.

In a wide-ranging interview in his homeland, the 25-year-old also revealed he will never forgive Rangers captain Lee McCulloch for causing his first injury setback.

Kayal said: "Initially, I liked [playing in Scotland], but after all the injuries I now no longer like it. There is a lack of technique, football is played at a breakneck pace with power and intensity, and it doesn't stop for a minute.

"A friend of mine, Joe Ledley, was on the verge of his contract expiring and was sold to Crystal Palace. Maybe this will happen to me. If someone comes up with a proposition attractive to both Celtic and me, then I'll go.

"In my first season at Celtic, a lot of teams came to watch me and tried to find out what my price tag was. Kenny Dalglish, who was manager of Liverpool, and Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United had communications with me. Celtic wanted too much money - like six or seven million. Now, because of my injuries, the price is much lower. But my dream is still alive and, well, I am only 26 next month."

Injuries have severely hampered Kayal's career and the unlikely combination of Ibrox captain McCulloch and AC Milan legend Kaka have both set him back.

McCulloch's clash with Kayal came in an Old Firm encounter in December 2011, in which the midfielder suffered ankle ligament damage which left him infuriated.

Kayal said: "I believe he did it on purpose. That player is not the cleanest in the world. I have not forgotten that for a moment. I was out for a long time and even when I came back I was not 100%.

"He was very rude about it. I suppose it's part of football, but I'm happy that every time I've played against him since, I have beaten him.

"After a difficult time, I came back and scored in the Champions League against Ajax. Then we played AC Milan and in the first minute Kaka caught me. He said sorry and I told him, 'you have broken my leg'.

"I actually played on for 30 minutes, but I couldn't change direction. That caused me to miss another three-and-a-half months. After the game he asked for my forgiveness and we exchanged shirts. He didn't do it on purpose.

"I felt like I should be wearing the Mario Balotelli shirt, 'Why Always Me?' Every time I get injured, it seems to be another four months out. Touch wood, I am fit again now."

Kayal admits he misses the Old Firm clashes. "For me, the league is lacking because [Rangers] are not there. I went to see Manchester City v Barcelona and the noise was nothing like Celtic Park. Even our Champions League nights are nothing compared to Celtic v Rangers.

"People do not understand - it is bigger than any game against Barcelona or AC Milan."

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