Celtic have agreed an £800,000 fee to sell defender Hatem Abd Elhamed to Hapoel Be’er Sheva, according to reports in the Scottish media.
Speaking after the 2-1 win over Motherwell yesterday, manager Neil Lennon confirmed that the Israeli international was suffering from severe homesickness and that a deal could be completed by the end of this weekend:
“A fee’s been agreed. I’m not sure it’s been finalised yet. He’s really struggled with life here, his wife and young son are back in Israel and he’s been through a really rough time of it mentally rather than anything else. So I think for his wellbeing he really wanted to go home, so that deal’s going to come to fruition, I think, either today or tomorrow.”
Four teams in Israel were reportedly after Elhamed, with Maccabi Haifa, Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv also involved, but the player has preferred to return to Be’er Sheva.
It means that the Hoops will have made a loss of £800,000 on the transfer after snapping up the 29-year-old for £1.6m at the beginning of the 2019/20 season.
Elhamed’s departure also leaves Celtic short of options at the back. Jonjoe Kenny was brought in on loan from Everton but, with Jeremie Frimpong having also left for Bayer Leverkusen, Lennon will have limited cover at right-back for the rest of the season.