By Will Butcher

Bayer Leverkusen are lining up a £1.5million swoop for Celtic defender Efe Ambrose, according to a report.

The Hoops number four made 31 appearances for The Hoops in 2015-16 but is considered expendable by new manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Scottish Sun claim that the 27-year-old Nigeria international is unlikely to feature in Rodgers’ long-term plans, with Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Simunovic and Charlie Mulgrew all considered ahead of him in the centre-back pecking order.

However, Boyata and Simunovic are currently injured until August and Mulgrew’s future is in doubt amid a contract stalemate, meaning Ambrose could be needed to temporarily fill the void.

Celtic could then cash in on Ambrose when they have brought in defensive reinforcements.

Rodgers has been linked with been linked with a number of new centre-backs, including Kolo Toure and Blackburn’s Euro 2016 star Shane Duffy.

Ambrose, who signed for the Hoops four years ago from Israeli side F.C. Ashdod, is yet to team-up with the rest of the Celtic squad in Slovenia due to visa issues.

The Super Eagle has earned 51 caps for his national side, as well as making 166 appearances for Celtic in four years and this experience could prove vital.

Leverkusen boast an impressive array of international centre-backs including Omer Toprak, Tin Jedvaj and Jonathan Tah but they reportedly want Ambrose at the BayArena.

In other Celtic news, Rodgers could trigger this Euro 2016 star’s release clause.