Celtic have opened director of football talks with Man City transfer guru Fergal Harkin, Football Insider can reveal.

The Scottish giants have set their sights on the 44-year-old, who is the football partnerships manager at Premier League leaders City.

A Celtic source has told Football Insider that discussions are underway over Harkin taking on the key executive role at Parkhead.

A deal has not yet been agreed but the Irishman is now favourite to head up a revamped football department.

Celtic employed specialists Nolan Partners to draw up a shortlist of candidates to interview.

The firm has worked with some of the biggest brands in sports and helped provide Man United with an entire global team of scouts a number of years ago.

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Harkin has spent more than 11 years in various scouting and recruitment roles at big-spending City.

The links between Celtic and City have been evident with a series of transfers and loans in recent years.

Olivier Ntcham and Jeremie Frimpong made permanent moves to Parkhead, while Patrick Roberts and Daniel Arzani had lengthy loan spells.

Celtic are working on a complete shake-up of their recruitment and football operation.

Football Insider revealed last month that head of recruitment Gary Penrice is set to leave Celtic at the end of the season.

In January, this also site broke news that head of football operations Nicky Hammond is under major threat and likely to go.

Celtic’s transfer business over the past year has been the subject of much criticism amid the disastrous performances of recruits like Shane Duffy and Vasilis Barkas.

In other news, it can be revealed how Lennon went out of his way to help Villa beat Celtic to £2.75m signing.