Josh King would “jump at the chance” to sign for Celtic on a free transfer and Eddie Howe may have “earmarked him” ahead of a potential move.

That is according to ex-Scottish Premiership striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after The Scottish Sun reported that potential incoming manager Howe wants to bring King to Celtic Park.

King scored 48 Premier League goals under Howe when the pair worked together at Bournemouth.

Everton

The Norway international joined Everton on a short-term deal in January but this site later revealed that the Toffees will turn down the chance to extend his contract.

Whelan claims that the 29-year-old forward would gladly take a move to Celtic when his current deal expires at the end of June.

He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “Josh King is still available. It’s not worked at Everton for him and it doesn’t look like they’re going to get him on a long-term deal. They might well look at him. 

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“It’s a good idea going back to players that you trust. That’s what Ancelotti has done at Everton and Jose Mourinho in the past too.

“So it wouldn’t surprise me if he’d earmarked Bournemouth players or ex-Bournemouth players who he knows could improve the team.

“That won’t be a waste of money because they know they’re gonna be getting. And who wouldn’t jump at the chance of going up to Scotland and playing with Celtic?”

This site revealed on 2 April that Howe had agreed a deal in principle to become Celtic’s next permanent manager.

But the club fears that Crystal Palace may hijack the deal and have lined up ex-Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre as a potential alternative.

In other news, Celtic ready move for European boss in latest managerial twist.