Ipswich Town secure loan return for Bersant Celina from French side Dijon
Ipswich Town have completed the eye-catching signing of former Manchester City and Swansea City attacking midfielder Bersant Celina on a season-long loan deal from French outfit Dijon.
The 24-year-old Kosovo international was relegated from France's Ligue 1 with Dijon last season, following a move from Swansea for just shy of £3 million last September.
A sensational return to Portman Road was first rumoured to be on the cards at the end of June, as broken by TWTD. But the move looked like it had broken down after the player contracted Covid-19 and suffered from the heart infection pericarditis as a result.
But he was given the all clear by doctors to return to football a fortnight ago and will return to Portman Road until the end of the season, international clearance pending, having previously spent the 2017/18 campaign with the Tractor Boys.
He becomes the 18th summer signing at Town as manager Paul Cook has lived up to his self-acclaimed 'demolition man' description to clear the decks before rebuilding the squad. Including loans, 22 players have left the club, with Armando Dobra set to add to that with a loan spell at near neighbours Colchester United.
Celina enjoyed a successful loan spell with the Blues while still on Manchester City's books in the 2016/17 campaign, scoring eight times for Mick McCarthy's Championship side from 26 stars and 12 substitute appearances.
The one-time Premier League appearance maker joined Swansea in the Championship for a fee reported to be around the £3 million mark in the summer of 2018. He departed south Wales having scored 10 goals in 79 appearances.
Celina, who can play as a number 10 or on either wing, has most recently been deployed out wide on the right and is set to add some real flair to Paul Cook's attacking options.
The playmaker, who did not score in 32 Ligue 1 appearances (25 starts) and has also played in the Dutch top division after a loan spell at FC Twente, is contracted for another three years.
Celina, who has represented Norway up to under-21 level, having been raised there, has 28 caps for Kosovo, scoring one goal.
Cook told the club website: "Bersant has been here before and his quality in the final third is a given.
"Bersant’s quality is there for all to see and he doesn’t need a lot of explaining to Ipswich fans from me.
"He’s got really good technique, he’s got great pace and he’s an international footballer. We’re absolutely delighted that he has come back to Ipswich Town Football Club."
Town CEO, Mark Ashton, added: "We're delighted to finally be able to welcome Bersant back to Portman Road.
"He is a player that we have been pursuing since the beginning of the transfer window.
"Our supporters will know about the quality that Bersant brings and we cannot wait to see him back in the Town colours very soon."
TWTD has reported a number of other clubs, understood to include Championship Hull City and Coventry City, as well as sides in the Dutch top flight, were also keen on signing the player.
Ipswich are also said to be still in the market for a holding midfielder before the summer transfer window slams shut at 11pm tonight, with a move for Middlesborough's Sam Morsy having been rumoured as one of a number of their targets.