O'Neill hopeful that Juninho signing is imminent
Saturday 21 August 2004
The Celtic manager, Martin O'Neill, is hopeful the Scottish champions will sign Middlesbrough's Brazilian midfielder Juninho before the end of August.
The Irishman spoke with Juninho, who helped Brazil win the World Cup in 2002, after the player passed a medical at Celtic Park on Wednesday but told reporters on Friday he is waiting to hear from the midfielder.
O'Neill wants Juninho for the start of Celtic's Champions' League campaign next month and before the 31 August signing deadline for Europe's premier club competition.
"Middlesbrough gave us permission to speak to him and things went pretty well," said O'Neill. "It's not done and dusted yet. I'm hopeful, but until everything is signed then you never know."
The well-travelled Juninho, who began his career at Sao Paulo, has had three spells at Middlesbrough while also appearing for Spanish side Atletico Madrid. His total career transfer fees amount to over £22m.
O'Neill believes Celtic are an attractive prospect for Juninho. "We house 60,000 fans here every fortnight and are playing in Europe so that would be a big attraction to someone of that calibre," O'Neill said.
"I think he was pretty pleased with what he saw but at this minute there are a few things to discuss at Middlesbrough's end."
O'Neill hopes Juninho will not be his last signing of the close season but conceded he is not finding it easy to attract big name players to the unfashionable Scottish Premier League.
"Sometimes it takes longer to get a bit of quality in and I'm looking at other options but it is difficult to say how far they have progressed," added O'Neill, who confirmed defender Bobo Baldé has recovered from a mild form of malaria.
Celtic visit Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Sunday.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao: 'Changes are not easy, but there are times when you have to'
Paul Scholes: I'm sticking my neck out - Hull to win and Newcastle to be relegated on final day
David Luiz says 'I'm not a virgin': Former Chelsea defender denies he is celibate
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
- 1 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 2 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 5 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
The day that Britain resigned as a global power