Celtic are close to hiring Fergal Harkin from Man City as their director of football as the strong links between the two clubs is revealed.

This site revealed on 20th March that a deal for Harkin, 44, was “90 per cent done” and he could be joined by a second, more high profile Irishman in a huge shake-up as the Hoops hold manager talks with Roy Keane.

Key to the Celtic overhaul is chief executive Peter Lawwell and his son Mark, who works for the City Football Group.

A Celtic source has told Football Insider how Harkin was central to Lawwell junior originally joining City eight years ago.

He is now the head of scouting and recruitment at the 10-club City Football Group, headed by prize asset Man City.

Harkin is the football partnerships manager at Premier League leaders City and his knowledge and experience built up during 11 years at the club is said to have impressed Celtic.

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Helpfully, the Irishman is also said to be a “massive Celtic fan”, which will go down well with the club’s supporters.

Intriguingly, he also recommended Ronny Deila to the Hoops in 2014, in what was a left-field managerial appointment.

The Norwegian, 45, is now the manager of New York City, one of City Football Group’s higher profile global teams.

There is a strong conviction at Celtic that Harkin can identify and recruit top young talents from across the globe using the connections he has built up.

But the filling of the key executive vacancy may be just the start of a stampede of arrivals at Parkhead from Man City.

As revealed by Football Insider, a team of analysts and recruitment experts may follow Harkin to Glasgow.

Far-reaching changes behind the scenes are being discussed as Celtic work on a complete shake-up of their scouting and football operation.

This comes on the back of a wretched season in which Rangers marched to the league title.

Football Insider revealed last month that head of recruitment Gary Penrice is set to leave Celtic at the end of the season and head of football operations Nicky Hammond is also likely to go.

In other news, Frank McAvennie rips into “arrogant” Celtic player closing in on near-£2million exit.