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2:35:21 AM
Loovens set for exit as City accept Bhoys bid


Glenn Loovens is on the verge of leaving Ninian Park for Glasgow Celtic. City have accepted a fee in the region of £2.5million and the 24-year-old is set to sign on the dotted line with the Scottish champions. The Bhoys beat arch-rivals Rangers to the player's signature - with the lure of European football enticing Loovens to Parkhead.

Loovens' departure does not come as a big surprise. The former Feyenoord starlet was unwilling to negotiate a new contract with the club - and with 12-months left on his existing deal, City risked losing Loovens on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Rangers have led the race for the defender - but their shock Champions League exit at the hands of Latvian side Kaunas made a move to Ibrox less attractive for the former Dutch under-21 international.

Celtic's interest has become apparent over the past week and the offer of European football made them comfortable favourites to sign the defender over their fierce Old Firm rivals.

A bid of around £2.5million has been accepted by the Bluebirds and Loovens has been quick to agree terms north of the border. The deal should be tied up by the end-of-the-week after the player has undergone a medical and penned a new contract.

City had slapped a £3million price tag on Loovens - but, under the circumstances, the club will probably have agreed to a fee below this valuation.

Most City fans have been left bitterly disappointed with Loovens' departure - but, in all honesty, the club was left with little choice. He wasn't prepared to sign a new contract and the club have done well to command such a substantial fee for a want-away player with less than a year left on his contract.

Loovens has spent three seasons at Ninian Park. He completed a £250,000 move after a successful season-long loan from Feyenoord. He's made 112 appearances for the club and established one of the Championship's most formidable defensive partnerships alongside Roger Johnson.

Loovens' final game for City will almost certainly be Tuesday's League Cup win at Bournemouth. He also played the 90 minutes against Southampton - but looked well out of sorts in both games with his mind clearly on a move away from the Welsh capital.

City chairman Peter Ridsdale has promised the club will spend on a replacement. However, Loovens' exit will have alerted out-of-favour club captain Darren Purse who will be anxious to push for a return to regular first-team action.

How will City do without one of their most consistent performers of recent seasons? Join in the debate on the messageboard.

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