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By ESPN Staff

Cardiff defender Loovens close to Hoops switch

Cardiff defender Glenn Loovens is on the brink of completing a transfer to Celtic.

Loovens had been a transfer target for Celtic's Old Firm rivals Rangers this summer.

However PA Sport understands the Dutchman is now set to clinch a move to Celtic, the defending Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions.

The fee for Loovens is believes to be in the region of £2million to £2.5million, and providing Celtic close out the deal it would be a blow to Rangers.

With Rangers looking to sign a replacement for Carlos Cuellar, following his £7.8million move to Aston Villa, they were expected to step up their bid for 24-year-old former Feyenoord player Loovens.

Celtic's interest had only emerged recently, but the addition of Loovens will give Gordon Strachan extra strength in defence, which was already a strong point of the champions' team.

Loovens could be earmarked for a central role alongside captain Stephen McManus, with Gary Caldwell moving out to right-back.

Celtic have already signed Georgios Samaras from Manchester City, Marc Crosas from Barcelona and Paddy McCourt from Derry City this summer.

After pipping Rangers to last season's SPL title, Celtic are chasing a fourth consecutive SPL title, and unlike their Glasgow rivals they have a Champions League campaign to look forward to.

Loovens began his professional career at Feyenoord and moved on to Cardiff in 2005, initially on loan before making the deal permanent a year later for a reported fee of £250,000.

He helped Cardiff reach last season's FA Cup final.

Cardiff confirmed Loovens had been given the go-ahead to hold talks with Celtic after turning down a chance to improve his contract with the Bluebirds, who are managed by Dave Jones.

Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale told club website 'In the circumstances, accepting a bid that met our valuation of the player was the only sensible option available to us.

'Dave Jones has been given all of the money from this transfer to strengthen the squad.

'So that there is no misunderstanding, all of the rest of the squad that the manager sees as part of the long-term future of this football club will be staying.

'Bids have already been rejected for a number of the first-team squad and no matter what the level of any subsequent bids for our players, all players that are contracted and that the manager wants to keep will remain with us.'


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