Ex-Leeds United man returns from Ukraine, begins training back with Celtic

Celtic Parkhead

Former Leeds and Ipswich loanee Darren O'Dea is back training with Celtic.

Celtic could be about to consider signing free agent Darren O'Dea, after SkySports reported the Irishman had begun training with the club.

O'Dea, 27, negotiated a release from his contract with Ukrainian side Metalurg Donetsk, with who he signed over a year ago, due to the city being a war-zone at present.

He told the BBC this week: "Things have escalated. Donetsk is a no-go place at the moment.

"We came to an agreement for me to leave. They wanted me to stay, but it was impossible. It's tough enough for me to live in Ukraine as it is, but to live in those conditions made it impossible."

O'Dea has had an interesting career to date, capped more than 20 times by the Republic of Ireland, he has played Champions League football with Celtic, who he only officially left in 2012.

He has spent time in the Championship with Reading, Ipswich and Leeds, who he was very close to signing for.

The defender told the BBC in the same interview: "I got offered a deal at Leeds - I was looking at houses down there, it was a three-year deal and they changed their mind. It was very strange."

He went onto sign with MLS side FC Toronto before switching to Ukraine, and now a free agent he is looking to get his career back on track.

Celtic appear to have taken the upper hand in getting a close look at him, but there is no guarantee they will do a deal, committing only at this point to helping him get fit.

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