Celtic strike a deal with Barcelona

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MARC CROSAS is ready to fly into Glasgow from America after Celtic struck a deal with Barcelona for the 20-year-old midfielder.

The Parkhead club will pay the Catalan club just £415,00 up front with a further £750,000 due when Crosas hits certain triggers in terms of appearances and success.

However, Barcelona are conscious of the fact the Spanish starlet could develop into a very valuable player and have insisted on a £1.65m buy-back option which takes effect at the end of season 2009-10.

They have also made it a condition of the sale that, should Celtic sell Crosas to any other club, Barcelona would be entitled to 25% of the transfer fee.

They are unusually heavy conditions, but Celtic have little option but to agree if they want the player, who was also being tracked by clubs in Spain and Italy.

The deal has just a few loose ends to be concluded, but should be signed within the next few days. It's good news for the club who, as we revealed in yesterday's later editions, have pulled the plug on their attempts to sign Auxerre defender Gabriel Tamas.

The chase for Marko Basa is over, and the focus will now switch to other defenders on the club's target list.

Gordon Strachan has made it clear he needs more players to help his squad which has been depleted by injury and Olympic duty.

He was boosted by the sight of Shunsuke Nakamura returning to training just a week after undergoing an operation for a hernia, and the Japanese could hit his target of taking part in Sunday's Spl opener against St Mirren.

But one area of the side Strachan does not believe he will be able to further strengthen is in attack.

The club have secured Georgios Samaras but Strachan accepts the market has gone crazy, thanks to cash sloshing around in the English Premiership, and competing for signings is proving difficult.

He said: "The money is ridiculous in England. Where do we go to improve on Jan Vennegoor or Scott McDonald? They scored 51 goals between them last season.

"I see strikers in England going for between £5m and £13m. There's no way I'd swap them for Jan and Scott."

McDonald has still to hit the net after seven pre-season games and will be desperate to get off the mark tonight when Celtic face Manchester City at Parkhead.

But Strachan is putting no pressure on the Aussie hitman and said: "Scott's been brilliant for us. This time last season he was up against international strikers for a place, and he blew them away."


Celtic will play Derry City on October 7 as part of the deal to bring Paddy McCourt to Parkhead.
 
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