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CELTIC ACE HEADS FOR EXIT

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HATEM ABD ELHAMED will quit Celtic and return to Israel, as CQN reported in December.

The 29-year-old right-back is heading out of the champions and will rejoin Hapoel Be’er Sheva within the next FOUR days.

The transfer window in his homeland closes at 7pm on Thursday and a move will be put in place with Elhamed being allowed to leave on compassionate grounds. He is still under contract until the summer of 2023, but the Hoops will not stand in his way of a transfer home.

Boss Neil Lennon, who paid £1.2million for the defender in July 2019 to take over from the departing Mikael Lustig, told Sky Sports News: “He has had a really difficult time.

“His wife and young son are back in Israel and life away from the training ground and the club has been very difficult for him.

“Thinking about his health and wellbeing going forward, it is probably the best thing to do. He has really struggled with life away from football and maybe some people don’t understand at times.

“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.

“I think the deal is almost agreed. We wish him all the very best.”

Elhamed has only played 17 first-team minutes since the 4-2 defeat against AC Milan in the Europa League at the San Siro over two months ago.

The international star has been a bit-part player for the club this season and has only made four Premiership starts due to the form of Jeremie Frimpong and the manager’s use of the versatile Kristoffer Ajer on the right-sided defensive flank.

Ironically, the 20-year-old Dutchman has just left the club in his £11.5million switch to Bundesliga outift Bayer Leverkusen.

But Elhamed will be allowed to go following the loan arrival of Jonjoe Kenny from Everton.

The former England Under-21 international has played in the two wins since his deal was struck – the 4-0 win at Kilmarnock on Tuesday and the 2-1 victory over Motherwell yesterday.

WHIRLWIND TO WHIMPER

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