Celtic: Helsingborgs add striker Nikola Djurdic in time for Euro tie

Helsingborgs coach Age Hareide was anxious for a replacement

Champions League play-off round, first leg

Olympia Stadium
Tuesday, 21 August
19:45 BST
BBC Radio Scotland

Helsingborgs have signed Serbian striker Nikola Djurdic and say the 26-year-old completed his loan move from Haugesund in time to face Celtic.

The Swedes, who were anxious to replace the departed Alfred Finnbogason, host Neil Lennon's side in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.

"Nikola is already ready to play against Celtic tomorrow," Helsingborgs state on their website.

"However, he has not yet had time to familiarize themselves with the squad."

Helsingborgs caretaker coach Age Hareide was keen to re-unite the strike partnership former Serbia Under-21 international Djurdic had with Thomas Sorum at Haugesund.

Sorum scored 45 times in 77 league appearances for the club in his Norwegian homeland before switching to the Swedish champions in 2011.

Djurdic has bagged 46 goals in 97, many of those coming alongside Sorum, but even without his previous partner was the top scorer in the Norwegian Tippeligaen with 26 goals last season.

Helsingborgs sports director Jesper Jansson said: "Nikola is a notorious scorer from his time in Haugesund with 10-12 goals each season.

"Already this year, he is up to 12 goals after 18 games.

"We believe that Nikola can go in and deliver right away."

Helsingborgs say they had made "an intensive effort to find a replacement" after the "surprising" departure of Finnbogason.

The Iceland striker had scored 12 goals in 17 games for the Swedes, who expected him to make his loan from Belgian outfit Lokeren permanent.

However, the 23-year-old who spent part of his childhood in Edinburgh and played for Hutchison Vale boys club opted instead to join Heerenveens in the Dutch top flight.

Helsingborgs thanked Haugesund, Djurdic's agents, the Swedish Football Association and the country's immigration service for rushing through the transfer ahead of the tie with Celtic.

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