By Will Butcher
Celtic are in pole position to sign Chelsea striker Dom Solanke at the end of the season after Liverpool cooled their interest, according to a report.
The Daily Record claim Liverpool, Fiorentina and RB Leipzig join Celtic in being interested in Solanke, with English clubs having to pay around £8million as a development fee.
The huge price seems to have put off Jurgen Klopp’s Merseyside giants though, who are now looking at other attacking talents including Paris Saint-Germain star Lucas Moura.
With Solanke’s contract set to end in less than two months, foreign clubs are able to buy the 19-year-old for a much smaller fee than Liverpool would have to fork out at around £400,000.
Brendan Rodgers took advantage of the cross-border rules that saw Moussa Dembele join from Fulham for just £500,000 in the summer transfer window.
It is believed that the forward is set to leave rather than remain at Stamford Bridge due to a lack of first-team opportunities under manager Antonio Conte.
Chelsea’s number 14 has failed to work his way into Conte’s plans with Diego Costa, Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham considered above Solanke in the striker pecking order.
Football Insider verdict:
Solanke could prove to be a top signing. He has show in glimpses, whether it be for Chelsea’s reserve side, in England’s youth sides or on loan in the Dutch Eredivisie for Vitesse Arnhem. The Chelsea academy product is renowned as one of the brightest young English strikers coming through and first-team opportunities could be just what he needs in his career. However, Chelsea may look to take advantage of Celtic’s interest in Solanke by including him in a deal that could take either Dembele or left-back Kieran Tierney to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea said to be interested in both players.
In other Celtic transfer news, this 19-year-old is set to sign a new £25,000-a-week deal.