Eyal: Kayal is sure to be one of the Bhoys

By Simon Griver, July 30, 2010

Former Celtic star Eyal Berkovic has backed Biram Kayal to build a successful career at Celtic Park.

The 22-year-old Israeli flew to Glasgow earlier this week and has agreed a four-year deal worth £350,000 a year, subject to a medical and a work permit. Celtic will pay Maccabi Haifa £1.25 million for the defensive midfielder.

Berkovic said: "Biram will fit Celtic like a glove and be very suited to the game over there. He is a very gifted technical player but also a very aggressive player.

"He'll be more successful at Celtic than I was," quipped Berkovic, who left Celtic in 2001 after falling out with former manager Martin O'Neill.

Kayal said: "As a boy, Eyal was always my role model. He showed it was possible to go abroad and build a successful career. To follow him from Haifa to Celtic is a dream come true. I played in the Champions League group stage with Haifa last year and now I'm looking forward to being there with Celtic.

"I haven't slept much from excitement since I found out Celtic were interested.
I know it will be hard to command a regular place in the team but I will fight for my place and I feel I have the ability to succeed."

Kayal grew up in the Western Galilee Arab village of Jedida and played for
the local team before joining Haifa as a teenager. He has made 12 appearances for Israel.

As reported, Dekel Keinan has received his UK work permit after an appeal and signed a two-year deal with Blackpool.

Maccabi Haifa have strengthened their squad by bringing in Alexander Zahavi, 19, who has been released by Sporting Lisbon, and Argentinean international defender Ignacio Canuto from Argentinos Juniors.

Hapoel Tel Aviv have completed a one-year loan deal for former Chelsea star Ben Sahar who is set to return to Espanyol next summer.

Last updated: 9:46am, July 30 2010