Reported Celtic target Hatem Abd Elhamed allegedly refuses to play in Hapoel clash

Neil Lennon, manager of Celtic celebrates winning the Scottish Cup at the final whistle during the Scottish Cup Final between Heart of Midlothian FC and Celtic FC at Hampden Park on May 25,...

Israel international Abd Elhamed has been linked with a £1.6 million move to Scottish Premiership champions Celtic from Hapoel Be'er Sheva.

Presentation of new player Hatem Abd Elhamed pictured during a press conference and at Ghelamco Arena Stadium on 09 july 2014 in Gent, Belgium.

Hatem Abd Elhamed asked to be left out of Hapoel Be’er Sheva’s Europa League qualifier on Thursday night, according to Sport1, as speculation continues to swirl linking him with a move to Celtic.

Abd Elhamed is not the first right-back tipped to sign for the Scottish Premiership champions this summer and he is probably not going to be the last either.

 

But with Jack Stacey joining Bournemouth and Tommy Smith on his way to Stoke City, the options are growing a little thin. And Abd Elhamed, who could also offer support at centre-back, is available for as little as £1.6 million, according to the Scottish Sun.

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The Israel international, who plays alongside Nir Bitton for his country, has certainly added fuel to the fire by demanding he be left out of Hapoel’s clash with Albanian outfit Lachi this week.

Hatem Abd Elhamed of Gent reacts to a missed chance on goal during the Jupiler League match between KAA Gent and KRC Genk held at the Ghelamco Arena on July 31, 2015 in Gent, Belgium.

Sport1 claims that the 28-year-old didn’t feel ‘100 per cent ready to play’ – although there was no suggestion that he was suffering from any injury. Instead, the report highlights his ongoing links with Celtic and wonders whether this means he is on his way to Glasgow.

Abd Elhamed is experienced, versatile and, most importantly of all, very affordable. But question marks remain about whether he is the right man to replace Mikael Lustig at right-back and Celtic fans might be having a few concerns about his attitude if he really refused to play on Thursday.

Monaco's French defender Kevin Ndoram (C) vies with Yzeure's French forward Samy Alouache (R) during the French Cup Football match between Yzeure abd Monaco at the Bellevue stadium in...

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