'A deal to be done' - Exclusive: Leeds urged to beat Celtic to signing after big development

Noel Whelan has urged Leeds United to rival Celtic for Fraser Forster’s signature if they are promoted to the Premier League this season.

The former Whites and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, insisted the spine of the team needs strengthening at Elland Road with a goalkeeper the top priority this summer.

Football Insider pundit Paul Robinson identified Joe Hart, 33, as the man he would like between the sticks for Marcelo Bielsa next season.

Hart is out of contract this June having failed to displace Nick Pope at Burnley since arriving from Manchester City in July 2018.

Forster, 32, is currently on loan at Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic and is available for £10million this summer after Southampton dropped their asking price, Football Insider understands.

When asked by Football Insider if Hart would be a welcome arrival at Elland Road, Whelan said: “There has been a lot of doubt over Joe Hart. He has not been playing. I am not sure that is the right move.

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“I think there is better goalkeepers Leeds United can attract in the Premier League.

“Joe has had a fantastic career and is a decent professional but Leeds need someone longer term.

“There are deals to be done with very good goalkeepers out there.

“If that means spending more money in a key area of the field then that promotion money needs to be spent on the spine on the side. The majority of that money needs to go through the spine.

“I would rather take Fraser Forster than Joe Hart.”

Leeds will look to exercise the option to buy in Illan Meslier’s loan deal but are expected to be in the market for a more experienced number one with Kiko Casilla’s future in doubt.

Hart has only made three appearances this season, conceding seven goals.

By comparison, Forster has kept 14 clean sheets in his 28 league appearances this season.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED club has been given the green light to complete three deals.