Celtic have sealed the signing of French centre-half Christopher Jullien from Toulouse for £6.8million.
The 26-year-old becomes Neil Lennon’s first signing of the summer after David Turnbull‘s move from Motherwell fell through.
The 6’4″ stopper joined the treble Treble winners after putting pen to paper on a four-yeal deal.
Neil Lennon said on the club’s website: “We are absolutely delighted to bring Christopher to Celtic. He is a quality player with great attributes and we are very much looking forward to him joining the squad and working with him.
“We’ve got a squad of great quality already here at the club, who have achieved incredible success over the past few seasons, but it’s always good to add further quality to the group, and that’s what we’ve got with Christopher.
“I know the players will be delighted to welcome him into the squad, and I know he will be keen to play his part in the seasons ahead as we look to deliver further success for our supporters.”
The signing gives Celtic options at the back after Dedryck Boyata left for Hertha Berlin, having run down his contract.
Jullien, who hopes to join up with his teammates on Sunday, says he “can’t wait to get started” and is looking forward to playing in the “crazy atmosphere” of Celtic Park.
As well as looking an imposing figure at the back, Jullien will add a threat in the opposition box, where goals from corners, for example, have been thin on the ground.
Lennon is hoping to add several more new faces and the signing of Jullien, a former teammate of Odsonne Edouard at Toulouse, is a strong signal of intent as Celtic bid to hang on to all domestic honours and make inroads in Europe.
Yesterday, Luca Connell was pictured at Celtic Park, fuelling speculation that the highly rated teenager could be set for a switch from Bolton.
The teenager has been told by administrators he can’t tear up his contract at the troubled League One club, who start next season with a 12-points deduction after relegation from the Championship.
Lennon has mentioned he’s after another five new faces and while he didn’t rule out going back in for David Turnbull after his operation, he’s turning his attention to other targets.
Former Manchester United player Paddy McNair is one player interesting Lennon. The versatile Northern Ireland internationalist would cost anything from £3-£5million from Middlesbrough.
McNair was linked with Celtic under Brendan Rodgers in 2016. He wouldn’t be the first dyed-in-the-wool Rangers fan to sign for Celtic and won’t be the last, and won’t encounter any issues on that front.
However, fans are worried about whether the 24-year-old has the required quality, being something of a utility man who’s never set the heather alight at Sunderland or ‘Boro.
Celtic are clearly prepared to back Neil Lennon in the transfer market and, at least, get players in before any possible departures. Whether McNair represents good value for a hefty chunk of his budget is up for debate.
Elsewhere, midfielder Rekeem Harper could be edging closer to signing a new deal at West Brom, while left-back target Romain Perraud is looking for a move from Nice.
The 21-year-old said: “I am under contract. I respect people but this season, I did not receive a single call when was I performing very well.
“I am not even speaking about a contract extension offer, just to have a catch-up with me. This is a difficult situation and I hope that it will ease off very quickly.
“I have no news from the current representatives but Nice have missed the boat with me. I want a new challenge.”