By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Celtic have began preliminary talks with Manchester City about signing teenager Bersant Celina on loan until the end of the season, Football Insider sources understand.
The Scottish club face competition from a number of Championship outfits to land the 19-year-old attacking midfielder.
A City source told Football Insider that discussions have taken place between the club and Celtic about a short-term deal.
Celina made his debut for City’s first team in their FA Cup win over Norwich last Saturday and admitted afterwards he is likely to go out on loan before the January window closes.
The Norway Under-21 international is already well known to Celtic manager Deila, who helped bring him through the ranks at Stromsgodset in Norway before Celina was given a City scholarship in 2012.
The youngster was then handed a professional contract two years later.
After making his debut as a late sub at the weekend, Celina told Norwegian media: “At that age I am, I need to play as much as possible, so in January I will probably be loaned out.
“Most likely there will be a club in the Championship, but I cannot say anything more right now.”
City have forged strong links with Scotland’s champions over recent years and the Premier League club were impressed with the improvement in Jason Denayer after the Belgian defender spent last season on loan at Parkhead.
City are convinced that Celina, who has scored six goals in eight Under-21s matches for the club this season, will benefit from playing regular top team football elsewhere.