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£4.5m GO-AHEAD FOR BARKAS

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GREEK international keeper Vasilios Barkas is poised to agree a £4.5million switch to Celtic TODAY.

The 26-year-old AEK Athens star arrived in Glasgow last night after flying in from Amsterdam and is scheduled to undergo a medical this morning.

If there are no fitness issues or problems with international clearance, Barkas will sign a four-year deal with the champions and could even make his quickfire debut in the Premiership opener with Hamilton Accies at Parkhead on Sunday as the Hoops kick off their bid for a historic 10 in a row.

The 10 times-capped shotstopper will sign on the dotted line after protracted talks with the Greek club which saw them reject the initial offer of £3.5million for one of their key players.

The champions’ hierarchy came back with an upgraded proposal which will take the transfer fee to £4.5million with another £900,000 due in add-ons while AEK will receive 10 per cent in a sell-on clause, according to a report in the Scottish Sun.

Barkas first caught the attention of the Scots when he played in his club’s shock 3-2 aggregate triumph over Brendan Rodgers’ side in the Champions League qualifiers two years ago.

The four-month pursuit of fans’ favourite Fraser Forster is now over with the towering netminder remaining at Southampton where he has two years to run on a £90,000-per-week contract.

Craig Gordon was allowed to move to Hearts at the end of his contract last month because the Parkhead bosses were confident of the ex-England No.1 agreeing a return to the club after his impressive season-long loan as the club clinched their ninths successive title and he produced a Man-of-the-Match display in the Betfred League Cup Final win over Steven Gerrard’s outfit in December.

However, the move hit a stumbling block and Holland-born Barkas, who has a record of 61 clean sheets in 111 appearances for the Greek side, is now expected to be first-choice netminder for Lennon with Scott Bain as back-up.

 
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