SEAD HAKSABANOVIC is on his way to Celtic.
The pursuit of the 23-year-old Montenegro international winger is just about done, Ange Postecoglou has revealed.
Asked if a deal was nearing completion for the Rubin Kazan star, the Hoops gaffer told Sky Sports: “Yeah, I think that is a fair assessment – it’s getting close.”
The highly-rated and versatile Haksabanovic, who can play on either flank and through the middle, cost the Russians £6million when they signed him on a five-year contract from IFK Norkopping in July last year.
ON THE MOVE…Sead Haksabanovic is heading for Celtic.
However, the champions will only have to pay a third of that fee to land the Sweden-born ace who spent the second half of last term at homeland club Djurgarden after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Rubin are also in dire need of a financial boost after relegation from the top flight.
Haksabanovic will be the Greek-Australian’s eighth signing for the club in this transfer window along with Filipe Jota, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Daizen Maeda, Alexandro Bernabei, Aaron Mooy, Benji Siegrist and on-loan Moritz Jenz.
Postecoglou watched goals from Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis deliver a 2-0 win over Hearts at Parkhead yesterday to maintain the team’s 100 per cent start while they went to the Premiership pinnacle with a two-point advantage.
The perfectionist gaffer insisted his work at the title winners is still in its early stages and said: “Yeah, we can’t stand still. We’re still building.
MAN ON A MISSION…Ange Postecoglou continues to strengthen his Hoops squad.
“Every now and then I’ll glance at the diary and, if you go back 12 months, you’re going to have a very different picture of what our football club looked like.
“We’ve made a hell of a lot of progress, but we’re still at the beginning. I’m still building a team, building a game style, building an environment. There’s still work to be done.
“Just because you have had success or it looks like things are going well, that’s not the time to stand still. I still know there’s a lot of work to be done. My ambitions for this football club are very strong in terms of making sure we are the best we can be.
“So, we’ll continue to strengthen with the guys we’ve got, but if opportunities come along to bring people in who I think will help us on that journey, then I’ll bring them in.
NUMBER ONE…Kyogo Furuhashi makes a point with the opening strike.
“I’ve had full support from day one. We wouldn’t have been able to do the work we’ve done in the last 12 months. It’s very easy to forget, but 12 months in the world of football is not a hell of a long time to do what we’ve done, I think.
“We’ve pretty much restructured a whole playing list, the way we play our football. That hasn’t been just me, the whole club has embraced that we needed to do it and I’ve had support all along. They continue to support me and, as a manager, that’s what you need.
“I’m going to take responsibility for it, so I think that’s important for what you want to achieve.”
Reflecting on the performance against Robbie Neilson’s side who had Alex Cochrane and Tony Sibbald red-carded in the fading stages, Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “It wasn’t as free-flowing as I’d like a game of football to be. It was stop-start and not a lot of consistent tempo in the game.
“Some of it was our doing, but it was just one of those games where it didn’t feel like we could open up and play our football.
“The players maintained their discipline, didn’t get frustrated and, in the end, got a good win. We just had to grind our way through it and I thought we did that.”
NUMBER TWO…Giorgos Giakoumakis is all smiles after the late clincher.
The visitors did not get a solitary effort on target to worry Joe Hart and Postecoglou added: “I’m always respectful of the opposition and the way they go about things.
“But anyone who has followed my career from day one will know that, irrespective of the opposition, my approach has always been if you can make the opposition uncomfortable then you have a chance.
“When I’ve been in those situations and I have been plenty of times, my feeling is that if you just let the opposition have the ball and sort of dictate the game, then it’s kind of what they do every week.
“It’s been a solid start, but we just have to keep at it and make sure we keep improving.”