By Noel Whelan

12th Jan, 2021 | 7:00am

'He's 90% Sure He's Going to Belgium' - Exclusive: Pundit view on big Celtic development

Celtic are set to miss out on re-signing Filip Benkovic this month – and it could be because of their trip to Dubai.

That is the view of former Aberdeen and Leeds United striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the Leicester City 23-year-old’s prospective move to Belgium.

Football Insider revealed earlier on Monday that Celtic have held talks with Benkovic but he is is putting the finishing touches to a move to Belgian outfit OH Leuven.

The Hoops held talks with Leicester over a temporary deal for the centre-half who won the the treble while on loan at Parkhead in 2018/19.

Whelan believes Celtic’s mid-season trip to Dubai may prove costly in their pursuit of Benkovic.

“They might make an eleventh hour bid but the player looks like he has made his mind up to me,” he told Football Insider.

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“He seems 90 per cent sure that he is going to go to Belgium.

“I think this is one that Neil Lennon have missed out on. Maybe it is one they could have been done if Celtic had stayed at home, who knows.

“There is no doubt that they need to make some signings in this window. It looks like Benkovic is Belgium-bound though.”

Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy confirmed the club’s interest in Benkovic on Sunday.

He said: “Filip is one we know very well. He’s been here before, he knows the club well, he knows ourselves well, and he’s certainly one who would be on our shortlist to look at in terms of moving forward.”

In other news, Celtic have been handed a huge triple transfer boost after club-record offer.