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£5.5m BAUER AND THE OLD BHOYS’ NETWORK

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NEW Bhoy Moritz Bauer will recapture his best form at Celtic – thanks to former skipper Paul Lambert.

The Austrian international right-back agreed a season-long loan deal from Stoke City yesterday as Neil Lennon continued his recruitment drive before Monday’s midnight transfer deadline.

The Celtic boss further strengthened his defensive cover with the swoop for the 27-year-old who cost £5.5million when he joined the Championship outfit from Rubin Kazan in January 2018.

Lennon has already brought in over £11million worth of back-four talent in Christopher Jullien, Boli Bolingoli and Hatem Abd Elhamed.

He is delighted to have landed Bauer and admitted he had received a glowing reference from old team-mate Lambert, who was the player’s manager for a spell at the Potteries outfit.

The Hoops gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Paul was very complimentary. He had a lot of good things to say about Moritz.

“He has a good pedigree. He has lost his way a little bit at Stoke, so I am looking at his time at Rubin Kazan and his time with the international team where he looked a very good player.
“I don’t think you lose the ability, but sometimes circumstances go against you. It’s a fresh start for him and, hopefully, he can take the opportunity.

“He has been on the radar for 18 months or so. There was other interest in him from Premier League clubs and abroad, so we are delighted to get him in. He looks a good type.”

On other possible signings, Lennon added: “Yeah. Again there are things going on in the background and we are working away on, trying to keep options open.”

Bauer made 26 appearances in all competitions for Stoke following his switch from the Russian outfit.

Speaking to the Celtic website, he said: “I’m really, really looking forward to it. I know about the stadium, the historical Celtic Park and I hope I can win trophies here and have a very successful season.

“It’s a massive club with a big history and when you see the stadium from the outside and the players there who have already worn the jersey – they are big names.

“I love being here and having the target of being first as I like that pressure. There are players here who have already won titles and it’s a big opportunity for me to learn from them and grow as a player as I hope to be part of a successful team.”

Lennon was left with a problem in the No.2 position at the end of the treble treble campaign when Swedish international Mikael Lustig and Costa Rican Cristian Gamboa both left the champions at the end of their contracts.

With only Scotland Under-21 cap Anthony Ralston as a natural in the slot, the Hoops gaffer had to move swiftly to bring in Elhamed from Hapoel Be’er Sheva while Kristoffer Ajer has been utilised in the position in recent games.

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