Celtic and Newcastle handed boost in race for £20m striker

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Reading manager Brian McDermott has reigned to the fact that the club will lose Shane Long to a top tier side, with Newcastle and Celtic looking favourites to secure the star’s signature.

"If a Premier League club comes in and we decide the deal is right and Shane wants to go there's nothing we can do,” McDermott said.

"It's important I do the right thing by him as well. For me he'll go down as a very special Reading player.

"Do I want to lose Shane Long? No, absolutely not.

Reading chairman John Madejski shadowed McDermott's sentiments last week, but the owner put a price on the star that some may argue is inflated.


“It’s sad we didn’t get promoted because Shane would have liked to stay if we had reached the Premier League, but that has changed because we will be in the Championship," Madejski said.

“What value would I place on him? £20 million. I don’t know if he will end up at Celtic, but what is certain is that he will not be at Reading next season.”

Newcastle were chasing Kevin Gameiro, but with the France international reluctant to make a move to St James’ Park, Alan Pardew is keen to find another striker who would fit the bill for the Newcastle squad.

Newcastle would be able to afford Long's top price if need be, thanks to the £35 million collected from Andy Carroll’s departure to Liverpool in January.

In reality though, Newcaslte shouldn't have to fork out such a high price for Long, with the 24-year-old looking more likely to leave the club for £5-10 million.

Celtic are also reportedly interested in the lower league star, with Neil Lennon watching the striker when Reading faced Swansea in the promotion play off final.

But Newcastle look to have the edge over the Scottish club, with Celtic only willing to fork out £4 million for Long, while the Toon boast a much larger budget.

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