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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2007, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Celtic confirm signing of Killen
Chris Killen
Killen rejected a new one-year deal with Hibernian
Celtic have confirmed that they have signed Hibernian striker Chris Killen on a three-year contract.

The Scottish champions have beaten off competition from Cardiff City for the free transfer of the 25-year-old, whose contract was set to end this summer.

He had a medical in Wales and spoke of his joy at heading for the Championship club before Celtic intervened.

Killen said: "There was a time when I was not sure where I was going but when Celtic came in it was a 'no-brainer'."

"I've been in talks with a couple of clubs, including Cardiff, but the interest came from Celtic in the last couple of days and I am here now," Killen added.

Having already signed Scott McDonald from Motherwell, Celtic manager Gordon Strachan will have an abundance of striking options for next season.

Initially I signed at Hibs on an 18-month deal and I saw it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things and Celtic are bigger and better

Celtic striker Chris Killen

But Killen says he has no intention of being an understudy to anyone at Celtic Park.

"I'm not here to be a squad player," the New Zealand international said. " I have come to play."

"There is going to be competition but that's not a problem for me.

"I'm going to work hard and do everything that I can to get that starting jersey.

"Initially I signed at Hibs on an 18-month deal and I saw it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things and Celtic are bigger and better.

"It's such a great club and playing in the Champions League is something I would love to do."

Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale said: "It clearly demonstrates that Chris Killen did not feel for the club."

Killen, who scored 15 goals for Hibs despite an injury-hit season, had rejected a new deal at Easter Road.

He was poised to sign for Cardiff in January, but an Achilles tendon injury ruled him out for the rest of the season - after which the Welsh club revived their interest.

I only want players at this club who will give total commitment to what we are trying to achieve here

Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale

"I look at this as a lucky escape for this club," Ridsdale told the South Wales Echo.

"It's best we know now of the player's commitment than a couple of months after signing him.

"I only want players at this club who will give total commitment to what we are trying to achieve here."

Killen began his career with Manchester City and had loan spells with Wrexham and Port Vale before joining Oldham Athletic.

The New Zealand international was bought by Hibs for 200,000 in January 2006 and scored 19 goals in 32 appearances.

New Zealand manager Ricki Herbert believes that the 25-year-old could be a big hit for Celtic.

"If it works out, it would be absolutely fantastic - it would be outstanding," he said.

"When you look at Killy's career, it's onwards and upwards for him and still at quite a young age.

"Celtic are not only in the top echelon in Britain but they are also a hugely recognisable club around the world.

"It's a great platform for him. Who knows where it will lead?"



SEE ALSO
Killen closes on Bluebirds move
28 May 07 |  Cardiff City
Killen blames club for Hibs exit
29 Apr 07 |  Hibernian


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