Celtic eye cut-price deal for Gary Mackay-Steven but face competition

Celtic are said to have joined the hunt for Dundee United's Gary Mackay-Steven, but he has previously expressed a desire to return to England.

Dundee United’s success this season, which has them in Scottish Premiership title contention, has been noted by domestic rivals and clubs south of the border.

Celtic are said to be readying a raid on any number of players at Tannadice, with Stuart Armstrong and Nadir Ciftci reported to be in their sights.

Gary Mackay-Steven is also being linked with a switch to Parkhead, with the winger having entered the final few months of his contract.

A cut-price deal to take him to Glasgow has been mooted, with Dundee United prepared to do business before losing the 24-year-old for nothing at the end of the season.

The Evening Telegraph claims no approach has been made as yet: “They have had no contact from the Hoops about GMS, or any other player.”

An approach may be imminent, though, as Celtic will have to fend off interest from afar if they are to land the Scotland international.

Mackay-Steven, who spent time on the books at Liverpool and Fulham as a trainee, expressed a desire back in September 2014 to try his luck in England again at some stage.

League One side Sheffield United and Welsh Premier League outfit Swansea City have been credited with holding an interest and could be about to make a formal approach.

Celtic will feel that they hold enough appeal to form part of that scramble for his signature, but any hope they had to slipping under the radar and landing themselves a bargain appears to have gone.

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