Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Noel Whelan tipped Albian Ajeti to be a “really smart” signing for Celtic as the West Ham attacker nears a move to Parkhead.

The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed that the 23-year-old is the calibre of player Neil Lennon needs to win a 10th consecutive league title.

Sky Sports reported that the Hoops have agreed a loan deal with the Premier League which includes an option-to-buy for £5million at the end of the season.

Football Insider revealed earlier this month that representatives from both clubs were in talks over a transfer.

The Scottish Premiership champions were interested in Ajeti last summer before he completed an £8.5million from Basel to the London Stadium in August.

When asked by Football Insider if the move carried risk given the striker’s lack of game time in the last 12 months, Whelan said: “You do not lose admiration for a player.

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“You always want quality and you always to strengthen your team, especially when you are going for 10 in a row.

“If they can get him without paying out millions that is better. It is always better to get a player on loan first, see how they fit in, see how they play, see if they love their surroundings because he will be moving from London to Glasgow.

“It is a different culture there and a completely different style of football.

“I think it is a really smart move. He will improve Celtic, there is no doubt about it. He is the sort of player they need if they want to win 10-in-a-row.”

In other Celtic news, Frank McAvennie has told Football Insider he cannot believe what has happened with Olivier Ntcham and Tom Rogic.

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