EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Celtic and Crystal Palace are ready to battle it out for Queens Park Rangers midfielder Ryan Manning, Football Insider sources understand.

Scottish giants Celtic have held a long-term interest in Manning and scouts from the club have been keeping regular checks on the versatile performer.

Manning, who is predominantly a central midfielder, can play anywhere across midfield or left-back or even in a more forward position.

A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Celtic and Crystal Palace are monitoring Manning’s situation at QPR and are weighing up moves for the player when the transfer window opens this summer.

QPR beat a number of clubs to Manning’s signature when they snapped him up from Galway United in January 2015.

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Manning broke into the QPR first-team last season going on to make 18 appearances in the Championship and earn a new contract as reward for his progression at Loftus Road.

The 21-year-old has been in and out of the starting XI this season, but he has still chipped in with two goals and an assist in 16 Championship outings so far this term.

Manning has also impressed on the international stage with the Republic of Ireland Under-21s this season playing a key role in their bid to try and reach Under-21s European Championship finals for a first time ever.

In other Celtic news, a Sky Sports pundit has revealed that a mega-money Hoops ace is heading for the exit door.

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