EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Celtic are plotting a move to sign Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga, Football Insider understands.

The striker’s future at the Riverside Stadium has been the subject of speculation for some time as Boro could be forced to cash-in on him to raise funds.

A Celtic source has told Football Insider that Assombalonga figures highly on Neil Lennon’s wanted list after proving himself to be a prolific goalscorer at Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough in the Championship.

The Scottish giants have made a new striker one of their top priorities this summer as  Lennon looks to add more firepower to his side and take the strain off last season’s top scorer Odsonne Edouard.

A number of clubs are monitoring Assombalonga’s situation at Middlesbrough, but Celtic are ready to steal a march on their rivals by firming up their interest in DR Congo international.

The 26-year-old has finished as Boro’s top scorer in each of his two seasons at the club following his £15million move from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2017.

Assombalonga scored 16 goals in 46 matches for Boro last season, with 14 of them coming in league games, and also scored frequently at former clubs Forest and Peterborough.

He netted 30 times in 69 Forest matches and was even more prolific for Posh in League One, scoring 33 times in 58 appearances.

In other Celtic news, Darren Bent has slaughtered a Hoops big name he tips to be soon given the boot in this exclusive Football Insider interview.