GREEK international keeper Vasilis Barkas finalised his £4.5million switch to Celtic this afternoon – and is poised to be plunged into his first-team debut against Hamilton Accies on Sunday.
The 26-year-old AEK Athens shotstopper came through his medical with any hitches and is now looking forward to becoming a history-maker as the champions go for a record-breaking tenth successive title.
The new Bhoy, who agreed a four-year contract, told Celtic TV: “I’m very happy to be here, it’s a dream to come to one of the biggest teams in Europe and I can’t wait to play for Celtic.
“Winning medals and trophies is why I came here. I want to win 10 in-a-row, and I want to help us get into the Champions League. That’s what I want.
“The manager spoke to me about the club, the pressure here and that he wants us to be champions again. That’s one of the reasons I came here and I think that him and I have a very good relationship so far.”
Barkas has already experienced Paradise before, when he played against Brendan Rodgers’ side in a 1-1 in the Champions League qualifier in 2018.
Unfortunately, for the Hoops they could not improve on their first-leg result and lost 2-1 in the Greek capital to exit the elite competition.
The 6ft-plus goalie added: “When I played here, I remember the atmosphere in the stadium, it was extraordinary. We can’t play with fans at the moment, but I’m looking forward to that soon.
“I feel good with pressure, if a game is played like a friendly, I don’t like that. I don’t like friendly games, I like to play under pressure,
“I like the derbies, I like the Champions League games – these are what I’m looking forward to.”
Neil Lennon ended his four-month hunt for a new netminder when it became apparent Fraser Forster would not be returning after last season’s impressive loan season from Southampton.
Reports across the border also insist the Hoops boss is on the brink of signing ex-England No.1 Joe Hart who is a free agent after leaving Burnley at the end of his contract last season.
The Hoops operated with three top-quality keepers last term with Scott Bain also involved alongside Forster and Craig Gordon, who rejoined Hearts in a two-year deal in the summer.
It is likely he will want to add to Barkas and Bain and another custodian will be added during this transfer window.