Celtic intensifying talks to sign 33-cap colossus

Neil Lennon - Champions League qualifying

Wednesday night was an embarrassing time to be a Celtic supporter.

Blessed with a relatively straightforward Champions League qualifier against Hungarian outfit Ferencvaros, they made it look far from easy.

So much so, that Neil Lennon's side were knocked out of the competition after barely putting up a fight.

This has been a couple of weeks to forget for the Hoops, who had two games postponed after a moment of madness from Boli Bolingoli.

The defender visited Spain and then failed to quarantine as per the guidelines. To make matters worse, he then played against Kilmarnock.

As a result, the Bhoys are now six points behind their rivals Rangers and their lack of game time coming into their qualifier on Wednesday clearly hampered them.

So how can you fix a problem like this? With a lot of difficulties, it would seem.

Neil Lennon

Perhaps the arrival of a new signing would do the trick. 

Football Insider report that after crashing out of Europe this week, Celtic are now set to step up their chase to sign Brighton defender Shane Duffy on loan. 

Duffy has been a target for Nick Hammond for a number of weeks now but the deal has failed to materialise.

However, Celtic are now convinced that Duffy, who has 33 caps, wants to sign for them and seal a move to Parkhead.

Any deal that is concluded, is set to be a loan with a 'significant' loan fee provided, as well as paying the cost of his wages. 

His weekly salary of £40,000-per-week, via Spotrac, is providing to be a hurdle, though. 

Shane Duffy playing for Brighton

GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

If Celtic can overcome the obstacles regarding Duffy's wage, then he'd be an exquisite piece of business, even if it is only for a year.

Why? Because Duffy has been a regular in the Premier League, consistently performing at a high level.

He has 96 top-flight appearances to his name in England and has become a stalwart of a Brighton side that have established themselves in the highest division south of the border. 

If you believe Frank McAvennie, he could be even better than both Kristoffer Ajer and Cristopher Jullien too.

Now wouldn't that be quite something?

Shane Duffy in action for Ireland

He told Football Insider earlier this week: "He would go straight into the eleven ahead of Jullien or Ajer. You have Bitton as well who is a midfield player and Lenny will chop and change." 

It's clear to see why too.

Last season, Duffy won a colossal 3.7 headers per game. Compare that to Ajer, and he's only won three aerial duels per match for the Hoops. 

It's a slim difference, but the Irishman has proven himself to be robust and no-nonsense for Brighton. A loan move is a no-brainer. 

News Now - Sport News