EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Celtic are set to be trumped by Bristol City to the signing of Chelsea centre-back Tomas Kalas, Football Insider understands.

The Hoops have registered their interest in Kalas, 26, as they look to recruit two new senior central defenders this summer.

A City source has told Football Insider that the club have made a breakthrough in their Kalas pursuit today as they work on converting his 2018-19 loan into a permanent transfer.

The Championship club are in the advanced stages of talks with Chelsea and are now confident they can win the race for a player who has been capped 19 times by the Czech Republic.

It will be a blow to Celtic, who have identified Kalas as a target as they work on strengthening their central defensive options following the end-of-season departures of Dedryck Boyata, Filip Benkovic and Mikael Lustig.

As reported by Football Insider, the Scottish giants are close to land another centre-back as they finalise the signing of Christopher Jullien from Toulouse for £7million after he agreed personal terms and prepares to undergo a medical.

Kalas joined Chelsea in 2010 as a 17-year-old but has made just four appearances for his parent club.

He has accumulated extensive Championship and Dutch Eredivisie experience out on loan at Bristol City last season as well as Fulham, Middlesbrough and Vitesse Arnhem in the past.

Kalas was a mainstay of the City team last season, starting 38 league matches among 41 appearances in all competitions.

In other Bristol City news, it can be REVEALED that the club are in advanced talks to sign a 25-year-old for a multi-million pound fee.