Neil Lennon will respond to the latest Celtic Champions League exit by stepping up the club’s bid to sign Shane Duffy, Football Insider understands.
The Scottish champions have made progress this week on landing the centre-back, 28, from Brighton on a season-long loan.
As revealed by Football Insider, Hoops chiefs met with their counterparts from Brighton for fresh talks on Monday about a deal for the Republic of Ireland international.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that the club are convinced Duffy wants to sign for them ahead of Premier League clubs including West Ham.
But his wages – which are more than any Hoops player – remain a hurdle to getting the deal over the finish lines.
Brighton want Duffy’s potential loan club to cover all of his wages as well as pay a “significant” loan fee.
The Premier League outfit have given the green light for the Republic of Ireland international to temporarily leave as they have a wealth of options at centre-back.
Celtic fan and former Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan is in no doubt that Duffy would represent a shrewd capture.
“He is a tough and proven centre-back with great experience and is a leader as well,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He’ll shake up the Celtic dressing room if things aren’t going well or players are being complacent or not training hard enough.
“Lennon will want him for his character as well as his ability. He could be integral to them winning 10-in-a-row.
“If Celtic get Duffy, I’ve no doubt he’ll be the first choice centre-back straight away. You don’t buy marquee signings and then not play them.”