Darren Bent has claimed Southampton may sell Mohamed Elyounoussi to Celtic next year – but for a profit.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former England international suggested the permanent transfer of the Norwegian loan star could be an “easy deal”.

But Bent raised the prospect of Southampton wanting a return on the player they signed from Basel in 2018 for £16m.

Elyounoussi scored a hat-trick last Sunday to take his season’s tally to 11 goals and four assists in 19 appearances.

This site revealed on Tuesday that it will cost the Hoops between £8-10million to sign the Norway international permanently in January.

Bent believes it could even be more expensive than that if the winger keeps banging in the goals.

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Asked by Football Insider whether he expected Elyounoussi to join Celtic permanently next summer, Bent said: “It could be a deal that gets done quite easily. To sell him, that might be the best thing to do. 

“Southampton are absolutely flying at the minute, I really like the stuff that they’re doing down there at Southampton and I have done for a number of years now.

“They’ve always impressed my the way they do business Southampton.

“They go about with a bit of class. They always seem to produce all these very good players and sell them a lot of money. 

“It wouldn’t surprise me if they sell him for a profit and make a little bit of money.

“The way Southampton are going at the minute, I’d probably look to sell.”

In other news, Celtic are lining up a move to sign a “superb” player before Christmas after Scott Brown talks.