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Israel-based striker Osei claims interest from Celtic

Mawuli Osei, a Ghanaian striker, has claimed Celtic want to bolster their contingent of recruits from Israeli football by signing him next month.

During his tenure, Neil Lennon has brought Efe Ambrose, Biram Kayal and Nir Biton to Glasgow and 24-year-old Osei, who plays for Hapoel Ashkelon, could be next.

Osei is the top scorer in the Israeli top flight, with 13 goals in just 11 games for Ashkelon, and both the player and his agent claim there is interest. Osei said: "There are clubs interested in me. Glasgow Celtic is one, for example. I'd like to try European football."

His agent, Michael Adje, confirmed the Scottish champions are monitoring his progress. He said: "Celtic are interested in him, along with other sides in Israel. We will see what happens when the transfer market window opens again in January."

Further transfer activity could stem from new partnerships with two clubs in the Netherlands and the United States. Representatives of Dutch club FC Groningen visited Parkhead last week to secure a football and a commercial link and delegates from new American club Jacksonville NASL held talks with Peter Lawwell, Celtic's chief executive, last month.

President Steve Livingstone, a Scot, said: "We are looking forward to developing a strong partnership with Celtic that will assist us in developing a first-class football team as well as providing our support and assistance to such a great club."

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