By Dominic Toner

Celtic are still pursuing a new defender and hope to seal a deal before next Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Astana, according to a report.

The Hoops missed Thursday night’s 11pm deadline to add to the squad bound for Kazakhstan for the third qualifying round first leg.

But Celts can still sign one player right up until 24 hours before kick-off, and he could go straight into the line-up with no training with the club.

The Daily Record claim the Scottish giants remain in the market for a new centre-back and hope to sign one before their first-leg qualifier match against Astana.

The Scottish giants remain without pair Dedryk Boyata and Jozo Simunovic through injury and defender Efe Ambrose was left out of their 3-0 victory over Lincoln Red Imps in midweek.

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Their assistant manager Chris Davies told the Daily Record: “We know there are areas that need to improve and we have identified targets.

“It would be a big boost for us if we could get people in who are going to make a difference. Of course it would be a big boost for us going into that really important game in Astana.”

Their opponents made it to the group stages last season and took points off Benfica, Galatasary and eventual finalists Atletico Madrid.

Blackburn manager Owen Coyle confirmed that they had not received a bid for Republic of Ireland defender Shane Duffy despite the speculation surrounding him with a move to Celtic.

Brendan Rodgers has previously expressed his interest in Duffy but would have to move quickly to bring him in before the Astana clash.

The manager has already signed attacking pair Moussa Dembele and PJ Crossan in this window, but will be keen to add some defensive back-up promptly.

In other Celtic transfer news, they are lining up a new striker but face competition from eight other clubs.