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Transfers of Thursday, 21 May 2015


Celtic line up move for Jonathan Mensah

CELTIC are stepping up their chase for Ghana World Cup star Jonathan Mensah - even though the centre-back will miss the start of next season through suspension.

Hoops boss Ronny Deila is keen on the Evian defender, who will be a free agent this summer, as he faces the threat of losing in-demand Virgil van Dijk and on-loan Jason Denayer.

However, Mensah has just been handed a four-month ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport as a result of his disputed move from Udinese to his French club in 2011.

The 24-year-old is barred from all football activities until September.

But an agent source close to Mensah said: “Celtic are still interested in Jonathan despite this ban by the CAS.

“They want to have him, so this ruling is just a temporary setback. We will continue with the talks.”

Mensah has won 27 Ghana caps, and played in all the Black Stars’ three games at last summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

He has seen his value soar to £5million with a series of stellar displays to help his unfancied club survive in Ligue 1 since promotion in 2011.

But they were finally relegated at the weekend, and Mensah is strongly tempted by the prospect of Champions League football at Parkhead next season.

Mensah helped Ghana finish runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations in February. He has also had a spell on loan to Spaniards Granada.

The Accra-born defender began his career with Ghanaian club Ashanti Gold before joining South African side Free State Stars.