Frank McAvennie claimed it would be a “shame” if Hatem Elhamed left Celtic in the January transfer window as the Israeli is a “great defender”.

The former Hoops and St Mirren striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted there is not a lot the club can do if the 29-year-old’s “head is battered”.

In December, Elhamed admitted to finding life in Glasgow “very difficult” amid the coronavirus pandemic, with his family choosing to move back to Israel last year.

The Daily Record reported this week that the player’s former club Hapoel Be’er Sheva have made an approach to sign the unsettled defender on loan.

He has made 15 appearances across all competitions this season, including a 17 minute cameo in yesterday’s 1-0 loss against Rangers.

When asked by Football Insider for his assessment of Elhamed’s future, McAvennie said:

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“It is something to do with his family and it is a shame because I like him. I think he is a great player.

“I wish him all of the best. The fans will say, ‘He didn’t do this.’ But if your head is battered because you haven’t got your family around you, there is not a lot the club or anyone can do about it.”

The Israel international has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract at Parkhead, having penned a four-year deal upon his arrival in July 2019.

He has made 30 appearances for Neil Lennon’s side in total, registering seven assists.

In other news, Danny Mills claims Celtic are in early talks with a potential replacement for Scott Brown after a big reveal from Sky.