HATEM ABD ELHAMED will seal his return to Hapoel Be’er Sheva from Celtic within the next 24 hours.
The champions paid £1.2million to bring in the 29-year-old right-back in June 2019, but will accept a cut-price £700,000 to allow the move to go ahead on compassionate grounds.
Neil Lennon admitted the player was struggling to adapt to a new life in Scotland without his wife and young son, as CQN reported back in mid-December when we forecast he would be rejoining his former club.
Now the switch will be rubber-stamped before Israel’s transfer dealine at seven o’clock tomorrow evening.
Elhamed flew into his homeland last night with his agent Dudu Dahan. Immediately, his son raced into his arms in a touching welcome home. Dahan captured the moment and posted a heartwarming clip, saying: “Hatem just landed in [Israel] #noplacelikehome”.
— Dudu Dahan (@dududahan555) February 9, 2021
Elhamed agreed a four-year contract with the Hoops when he arrived and was seen as a long-term replacement for Mikael Lustig. However, the switch didn’t quite work out and the international lost his place to Dutch teenage whizzkid Jeremie Frimpong who has also just left the club in a £11.5million move to Bayer Levekusen.
Boss Lennon, as reported in CQN at the weekend, said: “A deal’s been agreed with Be’er Sheva. I don’t know if it has been finalised. He was going through a really difficult time, his wife and son were back in Israel and he was here on his own and he was really struggling with life away from the training ground and stadium.
“We have to take into consideration the human factor on that. I wouldn’t say he was suffering with depression, but he was very low, so we have made the right decision for him and the club.”
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