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Rasmussen leaves Celtic to become Mainz man

Celtic striker Morten Rasmussen has joined Bundesliga side Mainz on a loan with an option to buy.

Through the exit door: Morten Rasmussen has moved on loan from Celtic to Mainz.
© SNS Group

Morten Rasmussen has agreed to join German side FSV Mainz 05. The striker, who joined Celtic in January, will play this season in the Bundesliga and could make the move permanent if he impresses.

Mainz announced the transfer swoop on their official website on Thursday. The club have agreed a deal with Celtic to loan Rasmussen until June 2011, with an option to extend until 2014, making the transfer permanent.

In a surprise move that was conducted quickly, Rasmussen travelled to Germany and completed a medical before agreeing to the deal and posing in a Mainz shirt. The switch brings to an end a short Celtic career, with it seeming unlikely he will return to Parkhead next summer.

The striker was signed from Brondby by former Celtic manager Tony Mowbray in January. Having cost approximately £1.8 million and agreed to a three-and-a-half year deal, Rasmussen was expected to be a first team starter in Mowbray's new look side but the move did not pan out for either party.

Mowbray was sacked in March and though Rasmussen made 13 appearances in green and white, only two of those were from the start and it became clear the forward would not command a regular first team place under Neil Lennon.

This summer, Lennon has already brought Gary Hooper to the club and launched a bid to bring in Craig Bellamy, who subsequently moved to Cardiff City. Those moves made it clear Rasmussen was not in the manager's plans for this season and he was free to speak to Mainz after the club expressed an interest.

The German club will be looking to Rasmussen to get the goals that can help them improve on last year's ninth place finish in the Bundesliga. Despite finishing above the likes of Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt, goals were in short supply last year, scoring only 36 goals in 34 games. The club had a goal difference of -9 by the end of the campaign.

Rasmussen may get advice on his new surroundings from new Celtic signing Cha Du-Ri, who played for the club in the 2006-07 season before moving to Koblenz.
 

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