By Will Butcher

Championship club Reading are stepping up their defensive revamp by making a move for Celtic defender Efe Ambrose in a cut-price deal, according to a report.

The 27-year-old has less than 12 months remaining on his Celtic Park deal and Reading manager Jaap Stam is keen to add to defensive signings Liam Moore and Tyler Blackett.

The Daily Mail claim that the Royals will test Celtic’s resolve with a bid of £500,000 plus future payments, while the Scottish giants want closer to a fee of £1million.

The 51-time capped defender has fallen down the pecking order at Celtic Park, with the veteran signing of former Arsenal and Liverpool defender Kolo Toure.

Former Manchester United hardman Stam sees Ambrose as a utility player, with Celtic’s number four able to play in holding midfield and right back, as well as his preferred position at the heart of the defence.

According to the Daily Record, the future of Ambrose has been uncertain throughout the window, with Greek champions Olympiacos also keeping tabs on the former FC Ashdod defender. 

Ambrose, who signed for the Hoops four years ago has made 169 appearances for Celtic in four years, scoring six goals and adding 10 assists during that time.

Celtic have been busy this summer, making five signings. Teenagers Moussa Dembele and Kristoffer Ajer join experienced duo Toure and Dorus de Vries, while Scott Sinclair has already become a fan favourite following his move from Asto Villa.

In other Celtic transfer news, this Everton midfielder could become Rodgers’ sixth summer signing in a loan move.