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Celtic keen on Beijing Guoan midfielder Zhang Xizhe

Celtic are showing considerable interest in Chinese midfielder Zhang Xizhe.

Hoops chief executive Peter Lawwell has confirmed that the 22-year old Beijing Guoan star emerged on their radar last month and suggested the Scottish giants could soon make a play for his services.

"We were informed about him earlier this year," said Lawwell. "He is an intelligent player and left a profound impression on us. We are very interested in the local market.

"In addition, we wanted to have a look at Zhang and a better understanding of him. He is a phenomenal player and he is very hopeful of getting a place in the Celtic squad.

"He is young and is very good both physically and technically. He is progressing all the time and showing improvement.

"One of the most important issues would be how he would adapt to the rhythm of European football.

"Shunsuke Nakamura and Ki Sung-Yueng had great success with Celtic and both are similar to Zhang. But of course, he would need to prove himself.

"Next year, we will return to Beijing to discuss matters relating to business co-operation and when the time is right, we will invite Zhang to join the team."

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