By Will Butcher
Celtic defender Efe Ambrose is the subject of interest from Brighton and Nice, according to a report.
Own Goal Nigeria claim that the status of the 28-year-old defender – out of contract at the end of this month – has alerted third-placed Ligue 1 outfit Nice, who have enquired about his availability.
His agent has also reportedly put forward a proposal to Brighton who are currently mulling over a move.
Hibernian boss Neil Lennon has also declared his interest in the Nigeria international, after the Celtic ace spent the second half of the season on loan with the Scottish Championship champions.
The former FC Ashdod defender’s current contract with Brendan Rodgers’ side is set to expire in the summer, and he looks set to leave after being ostracised by the Hoops boss this season.
Ambrose opted to move to Hibernian’s Easter Road after making just two appearances for the Bhoys in July, which saw him go eight months without playing competitively.
The likes of Erik Sviatchenko, Dedryck Boyata, Kolo Toure and Jozo Simunovic currently remain above Ambrose in the defensive pecking order, leaving Ambrose unlikely to stay.
The defender, who is known for his aerial prowess and pace at the back, almost joined Championship side Blackburn in the summer but a move failed to materialise due to work permit problems.
Football Insider verdict:
A free transfer is always tempting, but Brighton must surely be considering whether Ambrose is capable of moving up from the Scottish Championship to the Premier league – a massive gulf in class. It’s the same at Nice, who are currently near the top of Ligue 1. Hibernian seems the best fit as he’s settled in the area, and is wanted by the manager who knows exactly what he can deliver. For Ambrose it’s a good move as it gives him a chance to play back in the spotlight of the Scottish top flight again – and possibly prove to Celtic they were wrong to dispense of his services.
In other Celtic transfer news, fans want club to sign this Premier League striker after a report claimed the Hoops were keen.