By Wayne Veysey

16th Jun, 2021 | 7:00am

Sources: Wyke 'very keen' to join Celtic as talks set for this week

Celtic are set to offer Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke a long-term contract as they step up plans to beat English clubs to his signature, Football Insider understands.

The Black Cats are fighting a losing battle to keep their prolific striker after talks to tie him to a new contract failed to result in an agreement.

That has opened the door to Celtic and multiple English Championship clubs who have their eye on one of the most prolific goal-getters in the EFL last season.

A Hoops source has told Football Insider the club have registered their interest in Wyke and will now step up their pursuit with a concrete offer during talks this week.

The capture of a new front man is a priority for Celtic, who are set to lose Odsonne Edouard to Leicester City and have yet to agree new terms with out-of-contract Leigh Griffiths.

Wyke fits the bill with his age, pedigree and availability – and crucially, absence of transfer fee – making him attractive to Celtic.

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He is also said by the source to be “very keen” to head to Parkhead and test himself in the Scottish Premiership.

But the Glasgow giants know there is strong competition from Championship big guns and there is some way to go before a deal is finalised.

Sunderland confirmed earlier this month they are in negotiations with Wyke ahead of his contract expiring at the end of this month.

However, club chiefs are growing pessimistic about striking a deal.

Wyke scored 30 goals from 53 matches in all competitions last season, including 26 goals from 45 league and play-off games.

He has netted 58 times in 175 League One appearances during spells at Hartlepool, Bradford and Sunderland.

In other news, Celtic make contact over signing proven Premier League star available for seven-figure fee.