Celtic are ready to make a formal move for Wigan Athletic striker Joe Gelhardt as they look to beat old boss Brendan Rodgers to his signature.
Football Insider revealed earlier this week that the Scottish champions are keeping close tabs on the 18-year-old centre-forward tipped for huge things.
But they face strong competition to land him from elite clubs south of the border, including Rodgers’ club Leicester City and big spending Everton.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that the club are lining up an offer for Gelhardt after Wigan announced earlier this week they have entered administration.
The Hoops know it will take a major bid and contract offer to land the England Under-18 international despite the Championship club’s financial troubles.
Neil Lennon and the recruitment team will also have to convince the wonderkid his career would be best served with a move to Glasgow.
It is a sizeable task but Celtic rate Gelhardt highly and regard him as a “huge talent” and capable of going straight into their first-team squad.
Celtic are ready to pull out all the stops as they look to blow Leicester and Everton out of the water.
The Glasgow giants can provide a clear pathway to first-team football in a way the Premier League duo cannot.
They can point to the huge impact made by Jeremie Frimpong in his debut season at Parkhead after quitting Man City to sign on a four-year contract this time last year.
Gelhardt has come through the ranks at Wigan to make 19 first-team appearances in total, 17 of which have come this season.
He signed a new contract last November with Wigan, six months after he had turned 17.
In other Celtic news, Brown raves as the Hoops are in reported advanced talks to sign Premier League winner.
PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.