Celtic have announced the signing of controversial striker Colin Kazim-Richards from Feyenoord on a two and a half year deal.
The 29-year-old becomes Ronny Deila’s third signing of the January transfer window following the capture of Danish internationalist Erik Sviatchenko and winger Patrick Roberts – who also signed for Celtic today – on an 18-month loan deal from Manchester City.
Richards, who has been capped 37 times for the Turkish national side, has played 46 times for Feyenoord since signing on loan for the Dutch side from Bursaspor in July 2015 – scoring 13 times.
His time at the Dutch side ended in controversy, however, after he threatened Dutch Algemeen Dagblad newspaper journalist Mikos Gouka last month. This led to manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst dropping him from the squad before the club extended his ban which ran out today.
Richards took exception to an article written by Gouka which questioned the striker’s attitude, claiming that the Dutch side was growing impatient and tired over several incidents involving the Turkish international.
He confronted the reporter and challenged him to a fight, saying: “I am waiting for you outside. You are going down. I will put you to sleep.”
With Celtic having their own problems on the field following defeat to Ross County in the League Cup semi final on Sunday, the last thing manager Ronny Deila needs is another hot-headed individual.
Speaking to the official Celtic website, Kazim Richards said: “I’m ecstatic right now, more than happy. I know all about Celtic. It is one of the biggest clubs in the world, fan-wise, and for me to come here is an absolute privilege.
“And especially the colours – they mean a lot to me because, growing up, these were the colours of my Sunday team – my amateur side – and at this stage of my career, to be here, playing for Celtic in these colours is something sentimental to me.
“The colours, the fans and the atmosphere and the opportunity to wear this shirt, to be able to win things. These are the reasons I’m here.
“I’m a winner and Celtic have a tradition of winning things so I want to be a part of that, I want to be able to show that to my kids, to come here and be part of something. Celtic have a plan, they have things they want to achieve and that’s like me – I want to achieve things.
“I’ve never been to Celtic Park before but I’ve seen the atmosphere on TV and I’m really looking forward to playing here because it’s an amazing club, a massive club and I want to feel the atmosphere straight away.
“To come here you have to have the mentality of winning and have the pressure of the fans because they know you should be winning. For me to come and add to that and be able to put my little percent in to help the team achieve those goals will be massive for me.”
The Turkish international added: “I’ve spoken to the manager over the weekend and he’s happy with the move. For me to have a coach that wants you, as a player, that’s something you need and it gives you extra confidence.
“Match fitness is something you can only get from playing games, it doesn’t matter how often you train, especially with the tempo that Celtic like to play at – high pressing and moving a lot along the pitch, you have to get used to it.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve been playing the whole season – a different system is a different system, so I’ll need to come in and get used to the lads, but as soon as the gaffer gives me the word go, I’ll be there to pull the shirt on.
“Hopefully, some of his goals can rub off on me. Twenty-seven goals is a lot of goals and to be able to play with him and get more goals will be great.
“I’m a very physical striker and I’m also someone who likes to get goals when the opportunities come. But I’m also a big team player. I like to bring my team-mates into play and I’m all about winning. Sometimes I have to sacrifice myself for the win and that definitely defines me the most.
“For me, I’ve come from clubs that have won a lot as well, so the winning mentality that I can bring will just coincide with the Celtic way.”
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