Biram Kiyal
Biram Kiyal. Photo by Nir Keidar
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Biram Kiyal will leave Maccabi Haifa for Scotland's Celtic within a matter of days, barring unforeseen circumstances, sources close to the deal said yesterday.

The midfielder - who will return to Israel today from Haifa's training camp in Bulgaria - has already agreed in principle with the dynastic Scottish club over the terms of his contract. Haifa officials were reportedly in constant contact with their Celtic counterparts, and gave their approval for the player to be released. Haifa is expected to take in 2 million euros in compensation for Kiyal's release.

Last season's runner-up had already informed the player it did not intend to keep him, and sources close to the transaction said yesterday that "unless something unexpected happens, this deal will be closed very soon."

Kiyal, 22, raised in the Upper Galilee village of Jdeideh, is a product of Haifa's youth system and has played on the senior squad since 2006. Since 2008 he has been a key member of the senior national team, with which he has logged 12 caps thus far.

Meanwhile yesterday, Haifa continued efforts to acquire Toto Tamuz from Beitar Jerusalem, with club officials meeting with Beitar chairman Itzik Kornfein to try to iron out the terms of the striker's transfer. Those terms reportedly include the Nigerian-born striker receiving part of the transfer fee in exchange for accepting a pay cut from his current $250,000 annual salary. Haifa officials said they hope to see the forward sign as early as next week.

Haifa won its friendly with Slavia Sofia 3-0 yesterday on goals from Gustavo Boccoli and Lior Refaelov, and an own-goal from the Bulgarians.