By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Celtic are ready to rival Arsenal for the signing of Bolton centre-back Rob Holding, according to a report.
The Scottish giants are keeping close tabs on the 20-year-old on the back of a fine debut season that ended with him being voted the club’s Player of the Year by supporters.
According to The Sun, Celtic have sent scouts to watch Holding’s last eight matches as they weigh up a summer swoop for a player rated in the £10million bracket.
Trotters academy graduate Holding has been one of the few shining lights in a disastrous campaign for the finally-stricken club that ended in relegation from the Championship to League One.
He has been a mainstay of the team since being handed his first-team debut last August, making 30 appearances, including 26 in the Championship, and recently signed a one-year contract extension at his hometown club.
As reported by Football Insider on Saturday, Arsenal have already launched a bid for Holding.
The Gunners are said to have made their move last Friday and Bolton responded by pulling the young defender from the squad for their final Championship match of the season against Fulham 24 hours later.
Bolton caretaker manager Jimmy Phillips confirmed after the game he was told to withdraw Holding by club directors and it has been claimed it was because of Arsenal’s bid.
Everton have also been linked with a move for the youngster, who could feature for England’s Under-21s in the prestigious Toulon Tournament this month.
It is said the Trotters board are keen to hold on to their prized asset to help them get back to the second tier next season.
However, if a bid matches Bolton’s valuation for one of their hottest prospects, the club are prepared to do business.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the club have been given hope in their pursuit of a £30million target.