HATEM ABD ELHAMED has explained the reasons why he is likely to be heading for the Celtic exit next month.

Three Israeli clubs are monitoring the unhappy Hoops star’s situation with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa and Beitar Jerusalem poised to make a move if they get the green light.

International defender Elhamed joined the champions in a £1.2million switch from Hapoel Be’er Sheva last summer, but has failed to settle in a new country.

The 29-year-old right-back or centre-half, who is likely to miss tonight’s Europa League Group H tie against Lille at Parkhead through injury, revealed his lonely Glasgow existence and explained his struggles.

Elhamed, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “It is very difficult. My wife and son had a hard time adjusting to life in Scotland for many reasons.

“My wife has a successful career in Israel. We thought she would work here, but she did not get a work permit.

“My son came here at five and had difficulties with the language and finding friends, so we thought it would be better for them to go back to Israel and visit me from time to time.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus made that impossible. Life is different. I am used to more social life, and the days pass more slowly than in Israel.

“I am alone here. I finish training and go straight home. I do not leave the house much — and it was like that even before the virus.”

Elhamed still has over two years left on his contract, but the Parkhead club are likely to listen to offers in the January transfer window.

His former Be’er Sheva boss Barak Bakhar is now in charge of Maccabi Haifa and will lead the chase for the experienced Israeli ace.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Lille this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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