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Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Lennon confident on Juarez

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes he is close to making Mexico midfielder Efrain Juarez his latest summer signing.

Lennon is confident of landing Pumas UNAM starlet Juarez, 22, and hopes he could even make his Celtic debut against Manchester United while on their pre-season tour of North America.

"We are very close to signing him and hopefully over the next few days we'll have something on that. He might not come to Philly but hopefully he'll come to Toronto," he said. "He's got great energy, is really comfortable on the ball and works really hard off the ball.

"He's a very fit lad and I think his style will suit us. He's a hardy little guy as well - he can put his foot in. I saw Juarez playing against England at Wembley before the World Cup and just kept an eye on him.

"I thought he looked decent there and in the World Cup and when the opportunity came up we watched him again and again and asked if he would fit in to what we wanted to do here. We all agreed that he would. We're not paying massive money for him."

His agent, Jorge Berlanga, added: "Celtic is the team that best meets the expectations of everyone, both the player and the club.

"Efra really liked the option, because Celtic are a top team in Europe, they tend to play Champions League football, and that is a big step, so for all that he is excited.

"There are still things to work out, which are routine aspects, such as medical tests or work permits which are very difficult, mainly in the UK. There are still some things that need defining - we are waiting for an answer - but negotiations could be closed in the next few hours."

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