FC Spartak Moskva have made their second major acquisition this summer by landing Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady from Celtic FC.
McGeady, 24, has signed what Spartak described as "a long-term contract" after a move reported to be worth €11.6m – a record transfer involving a Scottish club. He is due to arrive in Moscow early next week after receiving a Russian visa.
The Glasgow-born player had been with Celtic since he was 15 and, following his senior debut in 2004, made 252 appearances for the side, scoring 37 goals. He also won three straight league titles at Celtic Park between 2005/06 and 2007/08, and in that last season was voted Scottish players' player of the year. In addition, McGeady, capped 32 times by Ireland, helped Celtic lift the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup twice apiece.
Celtic is the team I have supported my whole life and I will miss so many things, however I am looking forward to the challenge of playing for Spartak," McGeady told Celtic's website. Manager Neil Lennon added: "It is obviously a disappointment to lose a player with Aiden's talent. However, it was his desire to try and further his career in pastures new and I respect his decision."
McGeady's arrival at Spartak follows that of Argentinian centre-back Nicolás Pareja from RCD Espanyol. Last season's Russian Premier-Liga runners-up, who begin the UEFA Champions League campaign in the group stage, lie eighth in the 2010 domestic championship. Celtic, meanwhile, face FC Utrecht in the UEFA Europa League play-off round over the next two Thursdays after exiting the UEFA Champions League against SC Braga, McGeady not having been involved in either leg.
In other transfer news, Republic of Ireland striker Cillian Sheridan has joined PFC CSKA Sofia from Celtic. The 21-year-old, who was loaned out to Motherwell FC, Plymouth Argyle FC and Saint Johnstone FC during his four-year stint in Glasgow, has signed a three-year deal after passing a medical. Sheridan picked up his third cap in midweek in Ireland's 1-0 defeat by Argentina.
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