By Wayne Veysey
Celtic are set to offer a bumper long-term contract to Brentford midfielder Romaine Sawyers in a bid to win the race for his signature, Football Insider can reveal.
Neil Lennon and the Hoops recruitment staff have identified the 27-year-old as a firm target who has the ability to be a major force in the Scottish Premiership next season.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that preliminary discussions have begun with the player and his camp over the possibility of him heading north of the border after having a £1.5million bid rejected by Brenford.
The Scottish treble winners are willing to offer Sawyers a long-term deal and a significant pay rise to join them from the Londoners, who are struggling to keep him this summer.
Championship big guns Stoke City and West Brom are also keen on the versatile midfielder, who has entered the final 12 months of his contract at the Bees.
West Brom academy product Sawyers is in demand after playing a key role in establishing Brentford as a top-10 Championship club in recent seasons.
The 26-times St Kitts & Nevis international has accumulated extensive experience at Brentford and former club Walsall, making 127 Championship appearances as well as 136 in League One.
He has developed into predominantly a central midfielder at Brentford, although he is often also used in more attacking roles and is a regular creator of goals.