Celtic want Newcastle United goalkeeper Fraser Forster in permanent deal

Fraser Forster
Forster has become Celtic's first-choice goalkeeper during two loan spells

Celtic manager Neil Lennon hopes to make Fraser Forster's loan deal from Newcastle United permanent before the January transfer window closes.

"We are hoping to get his representatives in pretty soon to try to get a deal sorted out," Lennon said of the 23-year-old goalkeeper.

"We have given him a home for a year and a half and I think he has made the most of it.

"I think he has improved greatly over this season."

Lennon thought the Englishman was already "very consistent" during his first loan spell at Celtic Park last season.

"Good goalkeepers are hard to find and we feel as if he has great potential to go on and become a great goalkeeper," said the manager.

Lennon denied reports of any interest in Charlton Athletic striker Yann Kermorgant, the 30-year-old Frenchman who has scored seven goals in 15 starts for the League One leaders.

He also confirmed that he had all but given up hope of signing striker Baba Diawara, who is instead poised to complete a £2.5m move from Maritimo to Sevilla.

Celtic have secured the signatures of two players this week - 24-year-old Slask Wroclaw defender Jaroslaw Fojut, who will arrive in the summer, and 20-year-old playmaker Rabiu Ibrahim, subject to a successful work permit application for the Nigerian.

"I played against Fojut when he was at Luton and I thought he was fantastic in the two games," said former Nottingham Forest midfielder Lennon.

"He was only 19 or 20 at that time and he sort of disappeared off the footballing radar and then his name cropped up six or seven, eight weeks ago.

"We looked at footage of him and he has improved since then.

"He is very quick, aggressive, good in the air and technically sound and he knows the British game. I think he is good business on a Bosman."

Lennon was especially enthusiastic about Ibrahim, who was given a free transfer from PSV Eindhoven.

"He comes with great pedigree having been with PSV," added the Celtic manager.

"He was well sought after as a young player and, sometimes when you get that reputation, it can eat you up a bit.

"Things didn't work out for him at PSV and we brought him in for 10 days and we have been very impressed with him.

"He trained with the first team and didn't look out of place and then we had a bounce game and he was excellent.

"After an hour, we all made our mind up that this kid would be good for us.

"He is very good footballer and very intelligent.

"He is small for the British game, but he makes up for that in the way he manipulates the ball.

"He may not come straight into the first-team squad, and this is all pending on a work permit, but we don't envisage too many problems with that."

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