Celtic new boy Nouioui dismisses Levante claims

ESPN staff
September 6, 2012
Lassad Nouioui's transfer could be the subject of a court challenge from Levante © PA Photos

Celtic striker Lassad Nouioui has rubbished Levante's claims that he had promised to sign for them before moving to Glasgow instead.

Earlier this week, the Spanish side said the former Deportivo La Coruna striker had agreed to join them before making a late switch to Parkhead.

They are preparing to launch a court challenge over the transfer of the 26-year-old, and director Alberto Gil said: "Our club reserves the right to use legal means to investigate this transfer, and it is possible that it could be reported to FIFA."

But Nouioui hit back, saying he had never agreed to join Levante and laying the blame at the door of his ex-agent. "I was never interested in playing for Levante," he said. "My former agent, [Karim] Akill, is culpable here. I worked with him for seven years, but in this case a move to Levante wasn't authorised. I'd no hesitation - I wanted to sign for Celtic.

"Levante was an option, but not my preferred choice. I spoke to one of their directors, but only about football. After that, Karim didn't speak to me about going there. I never once agreed to go to Levante."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon, speaking earlier this week, described the situation as "a kerfuffle". "There is nothing really to say," he said. "He is a Celtic player and we are very pleased to have him.

"When the story broke about Levante we were involved in the game [against Hibs on Saturday] but, having spoken to Peter [Lawwell, the Celtic chief executive] and the player's advisers, everything is above board - which is the way we do our business anyway.

"Whether another agent got involved I don't know - sometimes these people do get involved and muddy the water a little bit - but, as far as we are concerned, everything was done the right way."

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