By Richard Parks
West Brom winger James McClean is likely to be the next Celtic signing, according to a report.
Football Whispers claim that the Republic of Ireland international, 28, is ahead of any other player in the running as the Baggies prepare to plunge through the Premier League relegation trap door.
Derry-born McClean is a lifelong Hoops fan and an extremely popular character among the club’s support for his passionate following of the team on social media.
Football Whispers, which gathers all transfer rumours across the globe and calculates the likelihood of them happening, rates it 3.3 out of 5 that McClean will join Celtic, with five the highest possible ranking and meaning it is a certainty.
He is ahead in the rankings of Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna (2.0) and Schalke forward Franco Di Santo (1.9).
Football Insider verdict:
McClean seems likely to leave West Brom in the summer irrespective of their top-flight status. His contract expires in a year’s time, he has only started 8 league matches this season and there have been recent reports that the Premier League club are willing to cash in on the 58-times international, who has made 152 appearances in the Premier League during his career. An £8million bid was said to have been rejected from Burnley last summer but don’t rule out the possibility that the proven left-sided forward could head north of the border. He would be a brilliant signing for the Hoops but, at that kind of price, they would need to sell a few significant assets to be able to afford him.