Manchester United and Arsenal are stepping up their interest in highly rated Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama, with both clubs set to make another check on the 21-year-old when the SPL giants take on Helsinki in their Champions League qualifier tomorrow night.
The Kenyan has attracted attention from a host of top Premier League clubs, including Liverpool and Manchester City, after a dazzling debut season at Celtic Park, following his £900,000 move to Parkhead from Belgian side Beerschot AC in 2011.
Wanyama signed a four-year deal on entry level wages at Celtic last summer, and Hoops boss Neil Lennon has intimated it's too early to offer the defensive midfielder improved terms, despite increased interest in the youngster's signature.
"It does not surprise me that there is interest in Victor as he had an incredible season," admitted Lennon last month. "We think he is a great player but I'm just not happy about the way things have been dealt with.
"I'm a bit annoyed with the agent and player for talking about club business while on international duty. The rules are made clear before the lads go away.
"At any time of the year players should not be talking about club business when they are away with their international teams. That goes for a few of the others and I am not just singling out Victor on this, but he knows the club policy.
He added: "As far as we are concerned Victor is not going anywhere as he signed a long-term contract."
Rated at around £7million, Celtic stand to make a considerable profit if they were to sell Wanyama, after representatives from both United and Arsenal watched the player in pre-season action against Norwich City and Inter Milan.
QPR have also emerged as contenders for his signature, adding to an ever-growing list of admirers of the robust holding midfielder, who can also operate as a central defender.
In a fledgling career that has already taken in five different clubs; Nairobi City Stars, AFC Leopards, Helsingborg, and Beerschot AC, Wanyama became the first ever Kenyan to play in the Scottish Premier League when he signed for Celtic.
Choosing 67 as his squad number to honour the Lisbon Lions, Celtic's 1967 European Cup winning team, the youngster became an immediate fans' favourite at Celtic Park, and went on to further endear himself to the allegiance of passionate Parkhead faithful, with a series of superb performances.
Wanyama's first goal in the green and white hoops was a tremendous 25-yard strike in a 1-0 home victory against Hearts. He also has 29 international caps to his name, scoring one goal.
Arsene Wenger is in the market for a defensive midfield reinforcement, and has been heavily linked with a move for Rennes and France star Yann M'Vila. However, the frugal Frenchman has been put off by his £17million price tag, and so has turned his attention to Wanyama, whom he could sign for a fraction of the price.
But, according to the Daily Mail, the Gunners boss will face competition from Sir Alex Ferguson, as the Scot looks to further strengthen his Old Trafford ranks ahead of the new season.
Creative midfielder Shinji Kagawa has already been added, as too has up-and-coming Crewe Alexandra starlet Nick Powell. Perhaps Wanyama could be the missing piece of the United midfield jigsaw?
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