Celtic are still in talks with Wigan Athletic striker Kyle Joseph and are hopeful of signing him despite their managerial upheaval, Football Insider has learned.
Joseph is out of contract at the DW Stadium in the summer and Celtic are racing Rangers, Newcastle United and Tottenham to sign him on a pre-contract deal.
Newcastle were last week reported to be the new favourites for Joseph, 19, after holding talks with his representatives.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that the club remain in dialogue over a deal and have not given up hope of winning the race.
The Glasgow giants are still working on luring top young talent ahead of the summer window despite the absence of a full-time manager.
Eddie Howe reached a verbal agreement with the club last week after London talks before an eleventh-hour U-turn and has subsequently been in discussion with Crystal Palace.
Celtic have moved to try and wrap up an early deal for Joseph by offering him a long-term contract.
It would see the rising star head to Glasgow at the end of the season, with a compensation fee of just £300,000 paid to Wigan.
Newcastle and Tottenham would have to pay a higher price of close to £1m as they do not benefit from cross-border rules.
Football Insider revealed that month that Tottenham are compiling a dossier on the young forward before deciding whether to push ahead with a formal offer.
Spurs’ former manager David Pleat, who works for the club as a consultant, is actively involved in checking out Joseph’s character and personality through his vast network of contacts.
The teenager is currently out with a back injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season.
Joseph is a Scotland youth international and has made waves in recent months in the EFL.
The London-born youngster, who has been capped at Scotland at Under-19 level, did not make his debut until October and then banged in five goals from just 14 league appearances.