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Celtic in pole position to sign Balde

Celtic have moved a step closer to securing Vitoria Guimaraes striker Amido Balde, after the player flew into Glasgow to undergo a medical.

Balde scored nine goals in his first season at Guimaraes last term
Balde scored nine goals in his first season at Guimaraes last term

Reports earlier in the day had suggested newly promoted Crystal Palace were set to rival the Scottish Premier League champions in their attempts to sign the player, with Guimaraes club president Julio Mendes admitting he would happily sell to Palace if they submitted a larger offer.

"Our obligation is to obtain the maximum profit for the club and if Palace offers more money it would be an error not to study the offer," Mendes is quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror.

However, those hopes now appear to have been dashed, with the Portuguese youth international spotted in Glasgow ahead of a proposed £2.5 million move. Having previously courted interest from both Newcastle and Sevilla, Balde is in the final year of his current contract with Guimaraes. Netting nine goals in 27 games for the club last season, manager Neil Lennon confirmed his interest in the player last week.

"He is a player we have scouted and looks the type we would like but whether we can get a deal done or not, I don't know," Lennon told STV. "We are just looking to strengthen that area. Balde is a big striker and has the physical attributes we are looking for. But he is interesting other clubs."

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