By Wayne Veysey
Celtic have submitted a bid for Birmingham City defender Mitchell Roberts, Football Insider understands.
The Scottish giants are trying to beat English big hitters to the capture of the strapping defender, 18, as they look to secure a deal by Monday’s transfer cut-off.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider the club are closing in on Roberts and increasingly hopeful of completing a deal in the coming days.
Birmingham are willing to sell Roberts for a six-figure fee as his contract is due to expire at the end of the season, when he would be available for nothing if they did not offer him an extension.
Celtic can take advantage of cross-border rules by signing the 6ft 3in teenager for less than £250,000.
The Scottish champions have already bought two rising star defenders this summer – Luca Connell and Leo Hjelde – as they look to recruit with one eye on the future.
Additionally, Neil Lennon and the Hoops board have also recruited senior defenders Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, Christopher Jullien, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Moritz Bauer after losing stalwarts Kieran Tierney, Dedryck Boyata and Mikael Lustig.
Roberts has yet to make his senior Birmingham bow but has made impressive strides for the club’s Under-23s after working his way up through their youth ranks.