By Harry Sykes
Celtic have been installed strong-odds favourites to sign Chelsea striker Dominic Solanke this summer.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes have priced the Scottish champions at 6/4 to land the 19-year-old before the forthcoming transfer window shuts.
Celtic are ahead of Premier League giants Liverpool (4/1) in the bookies’ running, as well as Tottenham (11/2), West Ham (6/1), Newcastle (7/1) and Arsenal (9/1).
The Solanke market comes after the Daily Record reported that the Scottish giants have moved into pole position to sign Solanke after he rejected Chelsea’s offer of a new contract.
Brendan Rodgers’ side are expected to be one of a number of leading clubs who will bid for the mobile forward this summer.
Celtic are ready to take advantage of cross-border rules which would enable them to snap up Solanke at the fraction of the reported £8million development fee that English clubs would have to pay for the teenager, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
The interest of Celtic comes at a time when the future of main man Moussa Dembele is in doubt after a stunning debut campaign in which his 32 goals in all competitions have had Europe’s elite beating a path to his door.
Versatile forward Solanke is a product of the Chelsea youth system but has played only one senior match for the club, in the Champions League in 2014.
He had a successful spell on loan at Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem last season, scoring seven goals in 25 league matches, but has spent the entirety of this campaign with the Chelsea youth squad.
He is reportedly keen to leave Stamford Bridge because of his place in the striker pecking order, where he is behind a host of international stars led by Diego Costa and Michy Batshuayi.
In other Celtic transfer news, the club’s incoming big-money signing will cost more than Rangers’ entire summer transfer bill.