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DEILA’S HOPES FOR CIFTCI

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RONNY DEILA hopes the SFA’s disciplinary panel go easy on Nadir Ciftci when the new Bhoy hears his fate for his part in the clash with Jim McAlister in the Dundee derby on the final day of last season.

The former Dundee United frontman was charged by the SFA after an alleged bite on the player and will discover what punishment, if any, he faces a week today.

Deila has revealed that the controversy over the incident was never liable to put him off signing the player who he believes can offer the Celtic attack something extra.

He said: “We knew when we signed him that he could be out for the start of the season if he is banned for some games, but we are prepared for that.

“He is a player we have watched for a long time and we wanted to bring him here because we believe he can do something special.

“We have seen him often enough to know that he is a big, powerful player and he is a handful for any central defence. He is so difficult to play against.

“Even if he is banned for league games, he will still be available to us for European matches, so he will still be able to feature. It is not ideal, but, of course, we were aware of it and we will deal with it when it comes.

“He is still a young player and he will mature. He is a good player, but we know he can get even better if he does the right things and plays the game the right way on and off the pitch at Celtic.”

And Deila believes that Ciftci’s role in setting up Gary Mackay-Steven’s goal on Friday evening was important purely in terms of being able to come in and settle quickly at the Hoops.

He added: “Those little things can make a really big difference to a new player coming into a club. Nadir is a confident lad anyway, but I think doing something like that means that your confidence is high from the very beginning.

“That can be so important. But we have been impressed with Dedryck Boyata, too, and the way he has come in and settled into defence.

“This season there has not been huge changes to the team and things have been relatively settled. We will see what happens between now and the end of the transfer window.”

Celtic have been linked with a move for Nigerian defender Kenneth Omeruo, 21, who was on loan at Middlesbrough last season. He looked as though he was heading for French outfit Lille, although that deal has apparently fallen through.

The Parkhead men and Granada have been credited with an interest in the Chelsea centre-half who has also had a spell in Holland with Den Haag three years ago.

 
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