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BACK PAGE BULLETIN: £2m EX-CELT’S SURPRISE RETURN, HOOPS ACE WANTED, NAISMITH SETBACK, HENDERSON’S VERONA WAGES REVEALED, KILLIE SIGN KEEPER

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FORMER Celtic defender Adam Matthews, who quit the club in 2015 when Dick Advocaat splashed £2million to take him to Sunderland, has joined Charlton.

Manager Lee Bowyer, who has now signed 15 players in a hectic summer transfer window, admitted he was surprised to land the experienced campaigner for NOTHING.

The Championship club’s boss, talking to Londonnewsonline, said: “He is only 27 and has still got so much more to offer.

“I couldn’t believe our luck he was on a free.

“He is another good signing. He is a Welsh international and is going to bring us something different. He is definitely going to give us more going forward – his end product is very, very good.

“He has experience at club level and internationally. For me, it is a no-brainer. He came in and impressed us straight away.

“We have got to get him fit, but there are still 40-odd games to go. Adam is definitely going to be important, sooner rather than later.”

Matthews joined the Parkhead men on a Bosman deal from Cardiff City in 2011 and became a favourite with the fans, but was allowed to move on by manager Neil Lennon when ex-Ibrox boss Advocaat made enquiries while the Wearsiders were still a Premier League club.

His successor, Davie Moyes, wasn’t impressed and loaned him to Bristol City.

Ex-St Mirren gaffer Jack Ross, who left the Paisley outfit for the troubled League One side in the summer of 2018, released Matthews at the end of the season.

The defender agreed an initial 12-month deal with the London side.

DANIEL ARAZANI could make his comeback – in Bangkok!

The on-loan Celtic winger, who was injured during his only appearance as a substitute in the 5-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park in October last year, is wanted by Australia.

Socceroos caretaker manager Gary van Egmond has confirmed he is eager to call up the 20-year-old Manchester City flanker for the AFC Under-23s Finals, which doubles up as Olympic qualifiers.

They take place in Bangkok and will last from January 8-26 and the Aussie boss, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “It depends where he’s at in terms of his fitness, but if he’s good to go then in this age group he’s very important in terms of where he’s playing and the level he’s at.

“He could have a big bearing on the team and how it progresses.

“We’ll obviously he guided by the medics in terms of where he’s up to to ensure the best outcome for him.”

Australia’s Olympic side also have a friendly in Qatar next month and three games against China in November.

STEVEN NAISMITH will almost certainly be OUT of Hearts’ Premiership clash with Motherwell at Tynecastle on Saturday.

Boss Craig Levein had hoped the 32-year-old striker would have overcome his hamstring strain, but it is still proving troublesome.

The former Kilmarnock, Rangers, Everton and Norwich City hitman has played just 88 minutes for the Edinburgh outfit since signing a four-year deal in the summer.

He was also sent home early from Scotland duty in order to rest up, as Scotzine reported.

LIAM HENDERSON’S wages at Serie A outfit Verona have been revealed by the Italian media.

Gazzetta dello Sport have published their annual study of salaries in the top-flight and reported the former Celtic midfielder’s club pay just £22.3 million in wages.

Henderson, who made the switch from Bari in summer last year, is said to be earning £270,000 per year – around £5,000 a week.

He has started both of his club’s matches during an undefeated start to their league campaign this term.

JAN KOPRIVEC, the 31-year-old Slovenian keeper who has played recently in Cyprus, has joined Kilmarnock on a one-year deal.

The shotstopper has spent the last four seasons with Anorthosis Famagusta, then Pafos.

He started his career in Italy with Cagliari before stints with Udinese, Bari – where he played alongside Killie assistant boss Massimo Donati – and Perugia.

Koprivec will compete with Laurentiu Branescu and Jamie MacDonald for a starting place at the Rugby Park outfit.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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