Celtic are in talks to sign Shane Duffy on loan but his Brighton salary is a major hurdle to sealing the deal, Football Insider understands.
Neil Lennon has made a senior centre-back his next transfer priority and wants a proven operator capable of slotting straight into his 10-in-row chasing side.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that Duffy, 28, is the top target due to his international and Premier League experience and likely availability this window.
He is said to be keen on moving to Parkhead in what could be a historic campaign but Brighton want all his wages covered and that is an issue for Celtic, whose top earners are on around £35,000-a-week.
Duffy has slipped down the pecking order at Brighton, where Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster have emerged as the first choice pairing.
Graham Potter hopes to also be able to call upon Ben White in the new season after his outstanding loan spell at Leeds United which has led to them offering £30million for him.
With Dan Burn also on the Seagulls’ books, they may feel they can afford to allow Duffy out on loan in 2020-21.
Celtic have held discussions but face significant competition for his signature from Premier League clubs.
West Ham, Sheffield United and newly-promoted West Brom are all keen on the Republic of Ireland star.
He has played 33 times for his country as well as 96 times in the Premier League and 132 Championship matches.
Lennon wants a new centre-back to provide cover and competition for first-choice pairing Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer.
Jozo Simunovic left when his contract expired at the end of May, leaving Nir Bitton as the only other senior central defender on the Hoops’ books.