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Van Persie and Nani offer cause for Celtic excitement - Hawthorn

Celtic's head of operations Ronnie Hawthorn believes the visit of Fenerbahce – specifically Robin van Persie and Nani – can help make up for the lack of UEFA Champions League football.

The Scottish champions were dumped out of the competition by Malmo this week and will face trips to Fenerbahce, Ajax and Molde in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Former Manchester United players Van Persie and Nani are key men for the Turkish side and the Celtic chief reckons they will bring some star quality to Celtic Park.

"They're certainly wonderful players," Hawthorn told Omnisport. "A number of people have mentioned them this morning and football fans, and Celtic fans included, look forwad to seeing the best.

"You think in recent history we've had Barcelona and Inter and the like, we've had some really good players visit Celtic Park.

"I'm sure they will be attractive to fans. We want to go as far in any competition as we possibly can.

"This is no different – it's a tough group but there are other tough groupings and we're like any other club in that we'll try and progress as far as we can."