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Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Saturday, 8 January 2011

Celtic hope for early Kelvin Wilson switch from Forest

Kelvin Wilson will leave Forest in the summer
Wilson will leave Forest under freedom of contract in the summer

Neil Lennon remains hopeful that Kelvin Wilson will join Celtic during January after the Nottingham Forest defender signed a pre-contract agreement.

The Celtic manager made a double signing, with Airdrie striker Tony Watt joining on a three-year contract.

And Lennon hopes that a fee might be agreed with Forest, with whom Wilson's current contract ends in the summer.

"If the possibility is there for him to come here in January, I'd like to have him now," said the Celtic boss.

"If not, we'll have him in the summer."

Lennon had originally attempted to sign the 25-year-old Wilson last summer, but an agreement could not be reached with the English Championship outfit managed by Scotsman Billy Davies.

And the Celtic manager was delighted to have at least secured for next season a player who impressed as a team-mate.

It's the team I support and this is where I want to be

Celtic striker Tony Watt

"I played with him for six months at Forest," said Lennon, who will acquire the player for free in the summer should he remain with Forest until the end of his contract.

"He was 22 then and still developing physically.

"We have watched him the last couple of years and he has been very consistent in the Championship.

"He's quick, composed on the ball and decent in the air.

"We did try to get him in August, but there was nothing doing."

Wilson, who began his career with Notts County and moved to the City Ground from Preston in 2006, has had his season interrupted by injury and has made only 10 appearances for promotion-chasing Forest this term.

Lennon has already added veteran former Arsenal winger Freddie Ljungberg to his squad since the transfer window opened and Celtic are in talks with Norwegian striker Erik Huseklepp.

At 17, Watt is seen as one for the future and will switch from Airdrie's first-team to the youth set-up at Celtic Park after a fee was agreed with the Second Division club.

An Airdrie statement revealed that the teenager had also been tracked by Rangers and a top English club.

"Tony, who made 15 appearances for The Diamonds this season, has seen interest from both sides of the Old Firm and English Premiership side Liverpool," they said on their website.


"Following a period where he trained at Lennoxtown and featured in a friendly against Liverpool earlier in the season, Celtic had kept monitoring his progress and decided to make an offer.

"Chairman Jim Ballantyne has said it is a wonderful move for Tony and great deal for the club.

"It goes without saying that plaudits must be given to manager Jimmy Boyle, whose faith in Tony at such a young age has been been totally justified."

Watt, who scored three goals for Airdrie, spoke to Celtic's website about his delight at the move.

"It's the team I support and this is where I want to be," he said. "It's a big weight off my shoulders.

"I'd been hoping to have it confirmed for a few weeks now and I'm just delighted to have signed."

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see also
Celtic end interest in Huseklepp
14 Jan 11 |  Celtic
Forest complete Tudgay transfer
05 Jan 11 |  Nottm Forest
Preston deny Davies manager link
03 Jan 11 |  Preston
Ljungberg moved by Celtic passion
31 Dec 10 |  Celtic

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