Celtic snap up Everton defender as rivals Rangers accelerate double deal

Date published: Monday 1st February 2021 10:41 - Samuel Bannister

Celtic left it late to finally make their only signing of the January window as they announced the loan capture of Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny.

The Toffees right-back – who has made 48 first-team appearances for the Goodison outfit – comes in as a short-term replacement for Jeremie Frimpong, who left for Bayer Leverkusen last week.

The deal was announced just just two-and-a-half hours before the deadline but it is better late than never for the Parkhead support, who have been crying out for fresh recruits to help out Neil Lennon’s struggling outfit.

Lennon – speaking earlier on Monday – said: “He’s a player I have liked for a while. He is at Everton obviously and had a very good career at England Under-21 level and I watched quite a bit of him last season when he was on loan at Schalke.

“I like his qualities, his enthusiasm for the game, his character, and I think he will bring that to the team. He is a bubbly sort of personality and he plays that way as well.”

Celtic had hoped to complete a pre-contract deal for centre-back Ben Davies but were beaten to his signature by English champions Liverpool, who have now signed the 25-year-old from Preston.

“It’s a blow because we were very close to doing that and obviously we got gazumped at the last minute by Liverpool,” Lennon said.

“(We’re) disappointed but we move on. It’s not the first time it’s happened to us or myself as a manager.”

Lennon is understood to have rejected loan offers for defender Stephen Welsh and confirmed Celtic were looking at other centre-back options, while French midfielder Olivier Ntcham is in talks with Marseille over a loan move.

“I think he is looking for a fresh start, or to progress his career elsewhere, and he has made that clear over a long period of time,” Lennon said.

Rangers double deal close

Meanwhile, Scott Wright and Jack Simpson are both set to complete immediate moves to Celtic’s arch-rivals Rangers.

Both players agreed pre-contracts last week but Wright will sign a four-and-a-half-year deal before the deadline after Rangers agreed to give Aberdeen a £150,000 discount on Ross McCrorie, the PA news agency understands.

Gers agreed to slash the £350,000 fee they had agreed with Pittodrie bosses to make loan player McCrorie’s Dons move permanent in the summer and the Scotland Under-21 captain will now become an Aberdeen player outright.

Rangers have decided to push ahead with the Wright deal after agreeing to allow Brandon Barker join Oxford on loan.

Simpson has arrived in Glasgow with George Edmundson on his way to Derby on loan.

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