By Wayne Veysey
Celtic’s last-ditch bid to sign Huddersfield Town defender Tommy Smith is doomed to failure after Stoke City agreed a fee for him, Football Insider has learned.
The Scottish giants have been locked in a battle with Stoke to land the 27-year-old, and have made a fresh move in the last week as they look to solve their growing right-back problem.
A source with knowledge of Smith’s situation has told Football Insider that Huddersfield have granted permission for Smith to head to their Championship rivals to undergo a medical and finalise personal terms. The fee is set to be well in excess of £3million.
It is a blow for Celtic, who had shortlisted Smith to replace Mikael Lustig as their first choice right-back after the Sweden international left when his contract expired last month.
The Hoops will now have to turn to alternative targets, with Football Insider revealing that a fresh move for Sheffield United’s George Baldock is in the offing.
Celtic were always up against it to land Smith after Stoke manager Nathan Jones, as revealed by Football Insider last month, made him one of his priority targets this summer.
Smith is out of contract at Huddersfield next summer and his status as club captain and one of the central pillars of their rise to the Premier League before last season’s relegation has not prevented a deal being agreed.
He has been a key player for the Terriers since joining in 2012 after his Manchester City release, accumulating 39 Premier League appearances and 143 in the Championship.
It is back to the drawing board for Celtic, who are in the market to sign at least one senior right-back, and possibly two, this summer following the exits of Lustig, Cristian Gamboa and Jeremy Toljan.
In other Celtic news, Darren Bent has slaughtered a Hoops big name he tips to be soon given the boot.