Celtic are dead set on hiring Fergal Harkin as their director of football and are prepared to defy Eddie Howe to get their man, Football Insider understands.

This site revealed on 20th March that a deal for Harkin, 44, was “90 per cent done” and that has now progressed further down the line.

A Celtic source has told Football Insider that the hierarchy are “committed” to appointing the Irishman and do not intend to deviate from that plan.

Extensive talks have taken place with Harkin, who is a “massive” Hoops fans, and all parties are working towards a deal.

What that means for the club appointing Eddie Howe as their new manager in the summer remains to be seen.

The former Bournemouth boss reached a verbal agreement with Celtic following talks in London a fortnight ago before having second thoughts.

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He has since gone public to reveal he will sit tight until the end of the season before deciding his next month.

Howe made it clear during talks with Celtic he wanted Bournemouth technical director Richard Hughes to join him at Parkhead in the sporting director role, effectively the post earmarked for Harkin.

But the Glasgow giants have major reservations about Hughes, especially after the south-coast club’s Premier League relegation last season.

There is a strong conviction at Celtic that Harkin can identify and recruit top young talents from across the globe using the connections he has built up.

Celtic

But the filling of the key executive vacancy may be just the start of a stampede of arrivals at Parkhead from Man City.

As revealed by Football Insider, a team of analysts and recruitment experts may follow Harkin to Glasgow.

In other news, Frank McAvennie tears into “arrogant” Celtic player closing in on near-£2million exit.