Will Celtic target Sheffield Wednesday's Hirst in Dembele-esque deal next summer?

Moussa Dembele of Celtic celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Celtic FC and Manchester City FC at Celtic Park on September...

The Sheffield Wednesday striker is in a similar boat to that of Celtic's Dembele two years ago.

DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 24 Nassir Peer (L) and Youssef Ayman (R)   of Qatar in action against George Hirst  of England during the England and Qatar U 18 friendly match at the Aspire pitch on...

It would be little surprise if Celtic's name is linked to that of Sheffield Wednesday's George Hirst in the coming weeks and months.

As confirmed by their chairman earlier this week, Wednesday are resigned to losing Hirst - the promising England Under-20 striker - after his refusal to sign a new contract at Hillsborough.

A host of clubs, including Everton, Leicester City and Leeds United have been credited with varying degrees of interest in the player - and it's plausible that Celtic could be next.

The Bhoys have an eye for an English-based bargain, as their 2016 capture of Moussa Dembele proved, while they also tried to sign Dominic Solanke in identical circumstances earlier this year [the Guardian].

England's striker Dominic Solanke (R) vies with Brazil's defender Miranda during the international friendly football match between England and Brazil at Wembley Stadium in London on...

Like the young pair, Hirst will be able to move freely at the end of his deal next summer, although Wednesday should receive some compensation for the 18-year-old, who has progressed through the ranks at Hillsborough, where his father David made his name.

Were Hirst to move to a club outside of England, however - to Celtic, for example - the Owls would be entitled to substantially less, as Fulham learned the hard way when they were paid only a fraction [around £500,000] of the £4 million plus anticipated had Dembele moved to a domestic rival [Get West London].

Moussa Dembele of Celtic celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Celtic FC and Manchester City FC at Celtic Park on September...

And with the Frenchman's Celtic future uncertain amid interest from elsewhere, Hirst could sense an opportunity north of the border next season.

It's a prospect of which Sheffield Wednesday should be fearful.

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