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Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 13:12 UK

Celtic secure Zheng work permit

The China captain Zheng Zhi
Zheng Zhi is a free agent after leaving Charlton in the summer

China captain Zheng Zhi has been granted a work permit and is now free to finalise a move to Celtic.

The 29-year-old, who can play in defence and midfield, left English League One outfit Charlton Athletic when his contract expired in June.

Celtic manager Tony Mowbray aims to sign free agent Zheng in time to face Dundee United on 12 September.

However, he will not be able to play in Celtic's Europa League group games as he has not been registered in time.

"I'm delighted that he may join us. He will significantly add to the squad," said Mowbray when the news of his interest broke.

The Celtic manager said Zheng proved a "thorn in our side" when he was manager of West Bromwich Albion.

"Zheng Zhi is a player I have tracked for some time," Mowbray said.

"We now need to tie up loose ends, which we hope to do before our next game."

Zheng decided to leave Charlton in the summer because he did not want to drop down to League One.

He became the first Chinese player to represent the Addicks when he played 12 games on loan for the club in the Premier League in 2006/07.

Charlton were then able to convince the two-time China player of the year to return to sign a permanent deal despite the club's relegation from the top flight, with the club paying Shandong Luneng an initial £1.25m for his services.

He scored nine goals in Charlton's first campaign in the Championship.

Celtic will be hoping Zheng will provide cover following Mowbray's decision to allow Darren O'Dea to join Reading on loan and Massimo Donati to move to Bari.



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see also
Celtic's O'Dea on loan at Reading
01 Sep 09 |  Celtic
Midfielder Zheng leaves Charlton
08 Jul 09 |  Charlton
Charlton lose Zheng to Olympics
25 Jun 08 |  Charlton
Charlton snap up McLeod & Zheng
09 Aug 07 |  Charlton
Charlton sign China captain Zheng
29 Dec 06 |  Charlton


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
CNN Football: China captain Zheng signs for Celtic - 4 hrs ago
Asiaone China captain Zheng close to joining Celtic - 10 hrs ago
Malaysian Insider China skipper Zheng Zhi poised to join Celtic - 14 hrs ago
World Soccer Celtic set to sign China captain - 15 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Celtic new Bhoy Zheng Zhi is too late to play in Europa League group stage - 16 hrs ago


FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
CNN Football: China captain Zheng signs for Celtic - 4 hrs ago
Asiaone China captain Zheng close to joining Celtic - 10 hrs ago
Malaysian Insider China skipper Zheng Zhi poised to join Celtic - 14 hrs ago
World Soccer Celtic set to sign China captain - 15 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Celtic new Bhoy Zheng Zhi is too late to play in Europa League group stage - 16 hrs ago


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