Celtic are in pole position to sign Brighton defender Shane Duffy this summer but his wages are providing a sticking point, Football Insider understands.
Hoops manager Neil Lennon admitted yesterday his club have made “tentative enquiries” over a move for the 28-year-old.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Duffy, 28, would prefer to join Celtic ahead of his other main suitors West Ham.
The Scottish giants are pursuing a loan move for the centre-back as they do not currently have the cash to land him permanently.
That has opened the door to West Ham, who have shortlisted Duffy as one of three centre-back targets along with Man City’s John Stones and Man United’s Phil Jones.
The Hammers are also looking at signing Duffy – or Stones and Jones – on loan – and are better placed to cover his salary for the season.
There is also interest in the Republic of Ireland international from Newcastle United as well as new boys West Brom.
As revealed by Football Insider, Duffy is said to be keen on moving to Parkhead but his wages are a major issue for Celtic.
The 10-in-a-row chasers have already signed striker Albian Ajeti for £4.5million rising to £6m and goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas for a further £4.5m.
Duffy has slipped down the pecking order at Brighton, where Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster have emerged as the first choice pairing.
Dunk signed a new five-year contract yesterday in a move that paved the way for Duffy to leave.
Moreover, Graham Potter is also able to call upon in-demand Ben White in the new season and centre-back-turned-left-back Dan Burn is also on a key member of the side.