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Friday, 31 May, 2002, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Celtic sign Fernandez
David Fernandez arrives at Celtic Park
Livi will use the cash to buy new players
Spanish forward David Fernandez has joined Celtic in a 1m move from Livingston.

Reports had suggested that Italian giants Inter Milan were also interested in the 26-year-old.

But Fernandez decided to remain in the Scottish Premier League by signing a four-year deal with Martin O'Neill's champions.

And Livi boss Jim Leishman insisted that the cash from the sale would be used to bring in "three or four" new players to bolster his side's Uefa Cup challenge next season.

David is a player with tremendous ability
Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
Former Airdrieonians and Deportivo La Coruna forward Fernandez passed a medical on Friday morning before agreeing personal terms.

"It is a big chance for me and the best moment of my career as this is the best club in Scotland and they will be playing in the Champions League," he said.

"Livingston was an amazing club for me and I wish the best of luck to them."

O'Neill said: "David is a player with tremendous ability and I believe he will be a great signing for the club.

"We have major challenges ahead on the domestic and European fronts and, in facing these, David will be very important to Celtic."

Leishman said: "He is a smashing player, a smashing guy and has a smashing family and is part of our family, so I am disappointed for the fans and it is a bit of a blow for the team.

"But football is a business and it is a great career move for David Fernandez.

"He has all the ability in the world and has great technique, but it is up to him to prove himself with such a big club."

Fernandez arrived in Scotland when he joined Steve Archibald at Airdrie from Deportivo.

He moved for free to Livingston last March after the collapse of the former Scotland international's bid to buy over the Lanarkshire club.

Chris Sutton
Celtic's Chris Sutton is linked with Leeds
Fernandez joined in time to enjoy Livi's promotion celebrations then helped them finish third at the end of their debut season in the SPL.

His move to Celtic came 24 hours after Livi re-signed forward David Bingham and offered a deal to former Argentina midfielder Sergio Berti.

However, Leishman said: "There will three or four more coming in."

Veteran defender John Anderson has, though, left Livi to join English Third Division outfit Hull City after he was not offered a new deal at Almondvale.

Meanwhile, reports suggested that Leeds United have offered Republic of Ireland World Cup forward Robbie Keane in exchange for Celtic's Chris Sutton.

Despite the signing of Fernandez, Celtic would be unlikely to want to lose a player who has shown valuable versatility as a striker and central defender.

See also:

30 May 02 | Livingston
21 May 02 | Livingston
20 May 02 | Scotland
14 May 02 | Scotland
10 May 02 | Livingston
Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

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