Brozek chooses Celtic over Rangers


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The Independent Football

Celtic manager Neil Lennon yesterday confirmed the club had beaten rivals Rangers to sign Poland striker Pawel Brozek from Turkish side Trabzonspor.

Ally McCoist, the Rangers manager, had stated his interest in the 28-year-old but Celtic have agreed terms with the player and subject to a medical he will sign on loan until the end of the season, with a permanent deal a possibility.

Lennon confirmed themove while speaking at Hampden Park after striker Anthony Stokes had struck twice in the club's 3-1 Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final victory over Falkirk. The Parkhead club will play Kilmarnock in the final on 18 March.

Lennon said: "I know Rangers were interested but we have been involved with players before and Rangers have nipped in. We have been tracking him for quite a while. We have tried to keep it under the radar. We will see how he is and if he is ready to go he won't be far away from starting. He scored a lot of goals in Poland and he will give the squad a jag. We can't keep relying on Gary Hooper and Stokesy for the goals. [Brozek ] is a bit like Hooper. He knows where the goal is."

Celtic's treble hopes remain alive after seeing off Steven Pressley's First Division side. Scott Brown put Celtic in front in the 26th minute, but 17-year-old Falkirk midfielder Jay Fulton levelled before the break.

In the 56th minute, though, Stokes's free-kick from 25 yards gave goalkeeper Michael McGovern no chance. He tapped in from Hooper's pass with five minutes left to make the result sure.

Lennonadded: "I had to rely on my goalkeeper to make a double save at 2-1 but apart from that I thought we controlled the majority of the game."

McCoist, meanwhile, insisted his side could cope without forward Nikica Jelavic after their emphatic 4-0 victory over Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League on Saturday. Jelavic, who has scored 17 goals this season, missed the game due to illness and has been attracting interest from a number of clubs in the January transfer window.

McCoist said: "There's not just life beyond Nikica, there's life beyond us all. There are bigger players who have left this club and the club always goes on. That's important because the club is the most important thing. If he went, it would be a big loss. He's a fantastic player and he has been a great talent here. But, as you saw, we scored some really good goals."

Captain Steven Davis scored either side of the break to help Rangers prevail, reducing Celtic's lead at the top to one point.