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Lawwell flies in with Deila as deal nears completion

RONNY DEILA flew into Glasgow with Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell last night as the deal was being finalised which should lead to him being presented as the club's new manager today.

Norwegian 38-year-old is expected to be unveiled as new Celtic manager today
Norwegian 38-year-old is expected to be unveiled as new Celtic manager today

Discussions over compensation to be paid to the 38-year-old's current club, Stromsgodset, dragged on last night but an agreement was close for a package worth around £300,000. Celtic also did separate business yesterday as they held signing talks with the unattached former Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Deila arrived in Glasgow early in the evening - Lawwell had flown to Norway for negotiations and then returned with his man - having agreed his own personal terms to take over from Neil Lennon at Celtic.

Earlier, Lawwell met Stromsgodset officials in an attempt to thrash out a severance package. Stromsgodset were dismissive of the opening figure suggested to them from Celtic and instantly demanded a far higher sum, with the discussions continuing back and forth throughout the day.

Deila emerged on Wednesday as the shock frontrunner for the Celtic job and Herald Sport revealed yesterday that John Collins has been identified as his assistant, the former Parkhead midfielder bringing experience of both the club and the wider general scene.

Deila won the Norwegian league title in 2013 and the Norwegian Cup in 2010 and has steadily improved Stromsgodset since taking over in 2008, but he is still young, has no experience of working outside of Norway, and has taken charge of only six games in European football. His imminent appointment has been generally well received by Celtic supporters, though, and he is expected to be presented at a Parkhead press conference later today.

The move for Gordon is strangely timed, in the sense that it came while the club is technically managerless, but the 31-year-old is highly experienced and would be first-team material if he can return to the level which made him the established No.1 for the Scotland national team and a £9m signing for Sunderland. Gordon, who has 40 caps, the last of them earned in 2010, underwent a medical on Tuesday, convincing Celtic staff that his physical condition was satisfactory.

The move for the former Hearts goalkeeper inevitably sparked speculation over the future of Fraser Forster, who is currently in Miami preparing with the England squad for the World Cup. A long-term knee problem meant Gordon has not played a match since appearing for Sunderland in April 2012, just before leaving the club. But he had been attracting interest from Rangers [where he trained at Murray Park for a part of last season], Hearts and Motherwell.

Earlier this week he was quoted saying: "You know yourself when you're ready and able to play and I feel just as good now, if not better, than I have ever done in my career. Fitness-wise I'm right there. It's just a case of getting the matches and proving it to everyone else as well."

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