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
Angel Di Maria reveals wish to return to Argentina - but don't worry Manchester United fans...
Arsene Wenger 18th anniversary at Arsenal: His WORST signings XI during his time with the Gunners
FC Basel vs Liverpool: Champions League match preview
Robin van Persie reveals Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United to 'be more Dutch and pull on the same rope'
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 3 Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month