By Wayne Veysey

9th Jul, 2016 | 8:16pm

Celtic close in as rivals pull out of race for 15-goal award winning midfield ace - report

By Tom Blackburn

Celtic have been given a boost in their pursuit of Gillingham midfield ace Bradley Dack after QPR pulled out of the running.

Football Insider reported last month that Celtic had joined the race for Dack but would face competition from Crystal Palace, Bristol City and Rangers, with the latter now dropping out.

The midfielder won the League One Player of the Year award for his brilliant 2015-16 season in which he scored 15 goals in all competitions, including 13 in 40 League One matches.

Talking to the Bristol Post, QPR manager Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink Hasselbaink said Dack isn’t the sort of player QPR are looking for.

“We need to get goals and strengthen in that area,” Hasselbaink said. “Bradley Dack is not really a striker. He’s a No. 10 and we don’t need another one of them.”

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Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is keen to add a goalscoring midfielder to his squad following his appointment as manager, and Dack is reportedly available for around £2.5million.

Bristol City have been targeting the youngster for a long-time and have reportedly already made contact with the Kent club this summer concerning the player they tried to sign in January.

During the January transfer window the Gills were still in the League One promotion race, and they turned down at least two bids from City, the highest of which was around £1.8m.

Dack signed his first professional deal with Gillingham in 2012 as an 18-year-old, and he has since played 146 competitive goals for the club, scoring 32 times.

Celtic are searching for a number of new players under the management of Rodgers, and with Rangers back in the Scottish Premiership he is preparing to take a risk with young talent.

In other Celtic news, Moussa Dembele says he has been blown away by the ability of his Celtic team-mate.