Ledley signs for Celtic

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The Independent Online

Celtic today confirmed the signing of Joe Ledley from Cardiff on a four-year contract.

The 23-year-old was the subject of interest from Stoke but opted to move to Celtic Park following several trips to Glasgow for talks.

The Wales midfielder will now join up with his new team-mates on the club's pre-season tour of North America.

Ledley is Neil Lennon's third signing of the summer following the arrival of full-backs Charlie Mulgrew and Cha Du-ri.

The player told his new club's online Channel 67: "Celtic is a massive club. I'm looking forward to the season and working with Neil and his coaching staff.

"I want to come here and win trophies. This is a great club and I'm looking forward to playing in front of a Celtic's great fans every week.

"This is the right time to leave Cardiff and look at my career.

"Hopefully we can win the league and cups and it gives me the opportunity to play in Europe too."

The 32-times capped midfielder, whose Cardiff contract had expired after the end of last season, had been linked with a number of Barclays Premier League clubs including West Brom, Liverpool and Blackburn.

Cardiff would have expected upwards of £2million compensation if he had signed for another team in the English leagues but FIFA's cross-border transfer rules mean he is able to move to Celtic for free.

It is believed Celtic delayed confirmation of his signing until after the World Cup final to ensure the Welsh club were unable to claim so-called training compensation, due if a player aged under 24 leaves a club during the season.

Lennon said: "We really are delighted to welcome Joe to Celtic.

"Clearly, there were a number of clubs very interested in signing him so we are very pleased he has chosen to come to Celtic, somewhere I think he can be a tremendous success."

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell added: "We are pleased to have beaten off competition from a number of English Premier League clubs for his signature and we are sure he will be a great addition to our squad."

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