Artur Boruc an inspiration to Celtic new boy Pwael Brozek
Pawel Brozek said yesterday that Artur Boruc will be his role model as he seeks to become the next big Polish personality at Celtic.
The 28-year-old striker yesterday joined the Hoops on loan from the Turkish club Trabzonspor until the end of the season, with the Parkhead men having the option to make the move permanent. Brozek is aware of how popular Boruc became at Celtic Park during his five years at the club and aims to make a similar impact.
Speaking to the media through an interpreter at the club's Lennoxtown training ground, the former Wisla Krakow player said: "It's hard to beat such a club legend who the fans respect so much and who was such a hero, but obviously it is something to aspire to.
"We are a bit different, but I know him well from the national team and I always respected him when we played together. Of course the presence of other Poles who have been at the club influenced me. Lukasz Zaluska is here and [former players] Maciej Zurawski and Artur Boruc, who I spoke with."
The capture of Brozek, who was also a target for Old Firm rivals Rangers, is regarded as a transfer coup by the Celtic manager, Neil Lennon. However, the Pole was not keen on giving the Ibrox speculation any more air time. Asked why he chose Celtic, he said: "Celtic were very determined to sign me so I never had any hesitation when they came in for me.
"It's a very popular club with great players so I had no doubts about coming here. It was a pleasure that Celtic were interested in me and this was the only offer that counted. I am very happy that I have made it to the club and I will do everything to make sure I give as good a performance as possible."
When asked directly if there had been interest from Rangers, he said: "No comment. Not officially."
Lennon hopes this summer's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine will inspire his latest recruit to hit the ground running at Parkhead.
However, Brozek insists his aim is to first of all find a place in a Celtic side which has Anthony Stokes and Gary Hooper in free-scoring mood with 33 goals between them this season.
"I am a hungry player but I am not thinking about the national team at the moment," he said. "My main task is to fight for a place in the starting eleven at Celtic. If I manage to do that then I can start thinking about a place at the European Championships."
Meanwhile, the midfielder Efrain Juarez has returned to Celtic after his loan spell at Real Zaragoza. The Mexico international spent the first six months of the season with the Spanish side, making 15 appearances, and he will now rejoin the Hoops for the rest of the season.
Juarez moved to Celtic after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and featured on 19 occasions last season. Speaking to the official Celtic website, Lennon said: "We are pleased to have Efrain back after his loan spell ended in Spain, and he will provide us with some more options in the side, particularly with Beram (Kayal) being out injured."
The Rangers chairman, Craig Whyte, yesterday denied using supporters' money to fund his takeover and defended the decision to sell Nikica Jelavic to Everton as a good return on the club's investment. Whyte saw transfer deadline day begin with revelations that more than £20m had been borrowed in lieu of season ticket sales. The businessman confirmed that fact but dismissed claims that some of the money had been used to secure his deal to take control from Sir David Murray.
Whyte bought Murray's stake for £1 in May last year but also agreed to pay Lloyds their debt of around £18m while investing in the playing squad.
In an open letter published on the club's official website, Whyte said: "I can categorically assure supporters that when I launched a takeover bid for the club it was funded entirely from one of my companies and that was demonstrated clearly to the satisfaction of the previous owner, Lloyds Banking Group and professional advisers."