West Brom said stepping up interest in Celtic defender

West Bromwich Albion are reportedly stepping up their efforts to sign Celtic defender Efe Ambrose, after he revealed that the prospect of playing in England interests him.

'The English Premier League is a well-celebrated and followed league back home in Africa', Ambrose is quoted as saying in the Daily Record.

'It has attracted a lot of big players, and I wouldn’t mind playing there at some point. But I am happy at Celtic, who are one of the best clubs in the world'.

Ambrose has been an ever-present rock at the heart of the Celtic defence this season, and was watched during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Aberdeen by West Brom Chief Scout Stuart White.

That defeat saw The Bhoys crash out of the Scottish Cup at the fifth round stage, but Ambrose’s stock has risen due to a strong season in Scotland so far.

The Nigerian had helped marshall the Celtic back four to 10 consecutive clean sheets since December, until Aberdeen’s opening goal on Saturday. That kind of form saw him become a target for a number of Premier League clubs in January - including West Brom, Crystal Palace and Fulham - but fortunately for the Scottish champions no deal was struck.

If the big centre-back is to leave Celtic, however, the Glasgow club will be sure to command a sizeable fee for his services - Ambrose signed a contract in October that saw him commit his future to Neil Lennon’s men until 2017.

image: © Tony Hisgett

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