Liel Abada leaves Celtic to sign for Charlotte FC on permanent deal

The Israel winger had been absent from the Celtic squad for personal reasons.

Israel international Liel Abada leaves Celtic to sign for MLS side Charlotte FC PA Media

Israel international Liel Abada has left Celtic to join Major League Soccer side Charlotte FC on a permanent deal.

Abada has signed a deal with Charlotte that runs until 2026, with an option for another year.

The winger has not played for the Parkhead club for several weeks after struggling to focus during the conflict in Gaza.

Abada’s position at Celtic had been questioned in Israel because of the vocal support for Palestine in a section of the club’s support.

Palestinian flags have been shown in the crowd during games and banners of support have also been displayed.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers spoke recently about the pressure on Abada and said that he had held private talks to try and help the 22-year-old through a difficult situation.

“I have had lots of conversations with Liel and I am really empathetic towards the issue he has,” Rodgers said. “It’s more than football. It’s at a human level, so I have to respect that.

“There’s many situations I have had to deal with as a manager over time, and lots of them you don’t get on the coaching courses. You have to understand and sit in his shoes. When he’s ready, if he ever is ready, then he will be able to give us everything.”

Abada leaves Celtic after nearly three years in Glasgow, during which time he won five major honours and a Young Player of the Year award. The winger played 112 times, scoring 29 goals and providing 22 assists.

A move to the United States of America offers a fresh start for the player and Charlotte’s general manager Zoran Krneta believes the club are bringing in a top-level talent.

“Liel has been one of the most exciting young wingers in Europe and we’re delighted to welcome him to Charlotte,” he said.

“He’s an elite goalscorer and chance creator who is a proven winner that is determined to bring trophies home to the club and our supporters,” said General Manager Zoran Krneta. “To bring a player of his calibre to Major League Soccer speaks to the strength of the league, but also that Charlotte FC is an attractive destination for top foreign talent.”

Abada’s exit comes on the same day that Celtic defender Alexandro Bernabei left the club to join Brazilian side Internacional on loan until the end of 2024.

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