Celtic are ready to make a move for highly-coveted Motherwell defender Declan Gallagher this summer, TEAMtalk understands.
But while they still have the 30-year-old on their radar, interest from the Hoops has turned his head over his future plans.
Gallagher’s contract expires at the end of the season, hence the race for his signature.
TEAMtalk also understands that Celtic’s Scottish rivals Aberdeen, Hearts and Dundee are in the race alongside Championship clubs Cardiff and Barnsley.
However, Gallagher has previous ties to Parkhead after rising through the club’s youth ranks.
He moved up to the club’s Under-20 team in 2008, before going on a loan spell at Stranraer in 2010.
But his progression with Celtic stopped there and he moved to Clyde in August 2011.
Gallagher’s most recent career move took him from Livingston to Motherwell in July 2019 and he has not looked back since.
He earned his first Scotland cap in November 2019 under Steve Clarke, before going on to play a starring role in helping his country qualify for Euro 2020.
The Motherwell captain played every minute of this season’s Scottish Premiership campaign until a muscle injury halted his progress in February.
While he has since made his return, he has only played 24 minutes in the past three league matches.
Celtic’s interest in Gallagher comes amid their ongoing search for a new manager after Neil Lennon‘s departure.
TEAMtalk understands that while the Hoops have not yet found a successor, they want to remain active in the transfer market and ensure they do not miss out on any deals.
Celtic to snub Rangers guard of honour
Meanwhile, Celtic’s interim boss John Kennedy has explained why his players will not give Rangers a guard of honour in Sunday’s Old Firm derby.
Rangers recently clinched their 55th league title, ending their arch rivals’ long run of success in the process.
Celtic were not given a guard of honour at Ibrox in 2019 after clinching their eighth successive title.
As such, Kennedy has explained his team’s thinking this time around.