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Page last updated at 09:04 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 10:04 UK

Samaras completes Celtic switch

By Simon Austin

Georgios Samaras
Samaras scored six goals while on loan at Celtic last season

Greek striker Georgios Samaras has signed a three-year contract with Scottish champions Celtic.

The 23-year-old impressed Bhoys boss Gordon Strachan when he was on loan from Manchester City last season.

City bought Samaras from Dutch side Heerenveen for 6m in January 2006 and have made a substantial loss in offloading the Greek international.

Samaras said the influence of boss Gordon Strachan and Celtic's "family atmosphere" had persuaded him to stay.

"Celtic are one of the best teams in Europe, with a very distinguished football manager," he told Celtic's official website.

"His unique way and unconditional desire to see me in his squad persuaded me to sign for the club.

"The same goes for the fans. They showed their support to me and with their dedication and excitement, they helped me decide that this is the right club for me.

"The important element for my decision, however, was the fact that there is a family atmosphere around here.

"We all respect each other and help each other, there is understanding and tolerance and these are all necessary ingredients for the success of a club and for the personal development of a football player.

"I am waiting for the start of the new season so I can help my team to repeat the successes of the last season. With the help of the fans, it is my view that we will achieve great things."

Samaras scored six goals for Celtic last season, although he failed to break up the first-choice strike partnership of Scott McDonald and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.

He played for Greece at Euro 2008 and was then given clearance not to travel with the rest of the Manchester City squad to Germany for pre-season training.


He was signed by former City boss Stuart Pearce and went on to score only 12 goals for the club.

Samaras quickly fell out of favour when Sven-Goran Eriksson replaced Pearce as manager last summer, making only five league appearances last season before moving to Glasgow in the January transfer window.

Stoke, Hull, Lazio, Besiktas, Feyenoord and Werder Bremen were also reported to have been interested in landing the forward.

see also
Celtic duo poised for Well switch
14 Jul 08 |  Motherwell
Samaras unhappy on Celtic bench
15 Apr 08 |  Celtic
Celtic make double signing deal
29 Jan 08 |  Celtic
Where it went wrong for Pearce
15 May 07 |  Man City
Samaras seals 6m Man City switch
30 Jan 06 |  Man City

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