Liverpool and Celtic braced for £20m 'world class' striker bids

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Highly rated Reading striker Shane Long looks set to leave the Madejski Stadium this summer, with Celtic the latest club to be linked with a move for the Republic of Ireland international.

Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in Long, who is certain to leave the Royals following their failure to win promotion to the Barclays Premier League via the play-offs.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was in attendance at Wembley stadium on Monday, to run the rule over the £20million-rated front man, as Brian McDermott's side lost 4-2 to Swansea in a thrilling Championship final encounter.

Reading chairman John Madejski revealed, "I'm aware of Celtic's interest in Shane Long.

"Neil Lennon has been watching him for three games now but we are still to hear anything official from them.


"How confident am I we can ward off Celtic's interest? Not very."

The Bhoys will likely face competition from a host of other potential suitors, with Liverpool thought to be weighing up a summer approach as Kenny Dalglish looks to further add to his attacking options at Anfield.

And with the financial backing of Fenway Sports Group, the Reds have the means to match Reading's valuation.

"Shane is world class," continued Majedski. "What is the value I would place on him? £20m.

"It's sad we didn't get promoted, because Shane would have liked to stay at Reading if we had reached the Premier League.

"Now we’ll just have to see what happens."

After scoring 25 goals in his last 51 appearances, Long has been described as "the key man in the transfer window", by national coach Marco Tardelli, who admitted the player was in high demand.

That statement now looks set to be proved right as two of Britain's biggest clubs, Celtic and Liverpool battle it out for Long's signature, with potential moves to Celtic Park or Anfield seemingly just around the corner.

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