By Alex Stevens
Celtic are close to securing the January signing of MLS attacker Darlington Nagbe for around £3million, according to a report.
The Scottish Sun claim the Hoops have made “significant progress” in their bid to land the USA international next month.
It is said that Nagbe’s club Portland Timbers value the versatile attacker at £3million, and Celtic are willing to meet the asking price in order to sign him when the winter window opens.
It is reported that Nagbe, 26, was given a guided tour of Parkhead by Celtic chiefs during their recent Champions League clash against Barcelona.
Nagbe has emerged as a priority target for manager Brendan Rodgers in the January window due to his ability to connect the midfield and attack, create chances and weigh in with goals.
He can play a variety of positions including on both flanks, a second striker role and attacking central midfield.
The 10-times USA international made 27 MLS appearance in 2016, scoring one goal and supplying five assists.
Since joining Timbers in 2011, he has scored 28 goals and provided 23 assists from 210 matches.
Celtic are in a seemingly impregnable position in the Scottish Premiership table after their remarkable start to the domestic season in which they have blown away all opposition in the league.
The Hoops’ 1-0 win over Partick Thistle on Tuesday was their 16th from 17 league fixtures this season and lifted them 14 points clear of second-placed Rangers and with a game in hand.
Football Insider verdict:
Nagbe may not have eyecatching goal stats or a reputation that has made waves on the other side of the pond. But he could prove to be a shrewd piece of January business by Celtic if they are successful in pushing through a deal within the next few weeks. Nagbe’s versatility makes him attractive to Rodgers. He can play out wide or through the middle, from a playmaker role or in a deeper midfield position. He is mobile, capable of driving the team forward with his runs and is approaching his peak years. If he can adapt to the physical rigours of the Scottish league, Nagbe could prove to be a snip at £3million.
In other Celtic transfer news, this is why the Hoops should reignite their summer interest in this Premier League star.