By support

30th Dec, 2016 | 2:44pm

Celtic should join January race to sign 24-year-old Premier League ace

COMMENT By Will Butcher

Celtic should join the hotly-contested race to sign Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson to end the Bhoys’ right-back concerns.

BBC journalist Pat Murphy revealed that the 24-year-old could be available to leave in January on a permanent basis, as he struggles to displace first-choice right-back Hector Bellerin.

Crystal Palace, Hull, West Ham and Aston Villa have all been reportedly interested in the defender, as the one-time England international looks set to call time on his Arsenal stay.

Celtic are in need of a right-back after summer signing Cristian Gamboa has failed to live up to the hype following his £1million move from Premier League outfit West Brom.

The Costa Rica international was looked at as Brendan Rodgers’ first-choice right-back after his arrival, but has since made just nine Scottish Premiership appearances.

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It has seen reliable Sweden international Mikael Lustig move to right-back, although he would be better utilised in the middle of the Hoops defence.

The signing of Arsenal’s Jenkinson would allow Lustig to move into centre-back, as the Charlton academy product would fill in on the right side of defence.

With a Champions League campaign potentially on the horizon in the 2017-18 campaign, Celtic will also be looking to add players with experience in the elite competition.

After 13 appearances for the Gunners during their Champions League exploits, Jenkinson would prove a crucial signing for Rodgers’ side.

It remains to be seen how much the two-time West Ham loanee would cost interested clubs, with 18 months remaining on his north London contract.

In other Celtic transfer news, why the Hoops should offer this veteran a new contract in January.