Nigeria Under-23 midfielder Rabiu Ibrahim agrees Celtic deal

Rabiu Ibrahim
Ibrahim has been training with Celtic after leaving Dutch football

Celtic have agreed to sign Nigeria Under-23 midfielder Rabiu Ibrahim on a three-and-a-half year contract.

The 20-year-old has been training with Celtic after being released by Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven.

Ibrahim still needs to secure a work permit before the signing can be completed by the Scottish Premier League club.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon said: "We have been very impressed by Rabiu. We are looking forward to him joining us."

Ibrahim had arrived on trial along with Iceland Under-19 winger Ingolfur Sigurdsson.

Both played in last week's 3-2 bounce game win over St Johnstone and Ibrahim was particularly impressive.

"In my view, he is a highly talented and exciting young player and someone who will be a tremendous addition to our squad," Lennon told his club website.

"He is a playmaker, well balanced and a very intelligent footballer."

Ibrahim, who was part of the Nigeria side that won the 2007 Fifa under-17 World Cup in South Korea, had attracted interest from other clubs, but agent Tony Harris is confident Celtic Park is the best place for him.

"An agreement has been reached with a great club like Celtic, where Rabiu will hopefully develop," Harris told BBC Sport.

"His potential will hopefully be fulfilled under the close guidance and management of the Celtic coaching staff.

"Neil Lennon is a great manager who encourages young players and subsequently brings the best out of them.

"We had other serious offers from Europe, but I believe Celtic is the best club for him.

"The most important thing is for him to finally settle down and focus on his football."

The African and Sigurdsson have been on Celtic's watch list for several years.

Ibrahim was linked with the Glasgow club in 2010 when with Sporting Lisbon, while Sigurdsson was reported to be interesting Celtic as a 15-year-old.

The Icelandic midfielder, who began his career with Dutch club Heerenveen, has since had trials with Arsenal and Manchester United.

He has most recently played in his homeland with Reykjavic outfits KR then Valur but is now scouring Europe again for a new club and, after spending this week at Celtic's Lennoxtown complex, is due to spend a few days with Lyngby in Denmark.

Ibrahim, who was included by World Soccer magazine in its 50 Most Exciting Teen Footballers list for 2007, left Sporting in summer 2010 and won a three-year contract with PSV after impressing in a trial game against the Dutch side.

However, the Nigeria Under-23 international negotiated a mutual termination of his contract in December after becoming frustrated at his lack of first-team appearances.