Celtic defender target Filip Benkovic is set to undergo a medical at Belgian side OH Leuven as he puts the finishing touches to a loan move, Football Insider understands.
The Scottish champions have held talks with Leicester City over a temporary deal for the 23-year-old giant centre-back.
But Celtic are set to be beaten to Benkovic’c signature by Leuven, who, like Leicester, are owned by the Shrivaddhanaprabha family & King Power.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that an agreement has been reached between the Belgian and Premier League club over a loan running for the rest of the campaign.
It is a major blow for Celtic, who had been working on reuniting with Benkovic for a second spell.
Former Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers had said that a loan back to the Parkhead side – where he enjoyed an excellent first spell – was a “possibility”.
Hoops assistant boss John Kennedy had also confirmed that Benkovic was on the club’s shortlist as one of a number of targets as they look to strengthen the centre defence.
This comes after Christopher Jullien sustained a knee injury that is set to sideline him for up to two months.
Benkovic had a successful loan spell at Parkhead in 2018-19 when he made 27 appearances and was a key member of their treble-winning side that season.
Celtic will now have to pursue alternative centre-back options.
But another defensive target, USA international Mark McKenzie, also chose to move to Belgian football recently with Genk.