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Ivan Saponjic is determined to make a success of his time at Atletico Madrid and is ignoring interest from Celtic and Crystal Palace for the time being, according to AS.

A little-known forward bought last summer from Benfica, Saponjic is hardly the first centre-forward to struggle under a man who makes Jose Mourinho look like Zdenek Zeman.

Mario Mandzukic, Jackson Martinez, Luciano Vietto and even Raul Jimenez toiled under Diego Simeone in the Spanish capital – although at least the seldom-seen 23-year-old has time on his side.

LIVE Transfer Show | Where Celtic must strengthen before October deadline

LIVE Transfer Show | Where Celtic must strengthen before October deadline

AS claims Saponjic has two big fans in the Atletico dressing room too.

And they just happen to be Jan Oblak, arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, and academy graduate turned midfield hero Saul Niguez.

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Scottish Premiership champions Celtic and a goal-shy Crystal Palace side have shown an interest in Saponjic but, with Saul and Oblak throwing their considerable weight behind him, the Serbia U21 international has his heart set on fighting for a place at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The former Partizan Belgrade youngster, who enjoyed an impressive loan spell at Zulte Waregem in 2017/18, made just two La Liga appearances last season, playing a grand total of four minutes in Atleti colours.

But with the once-unstoppable Diego Costa increasingly looking like a busted flush and Alvaro Morata never too far away from a crisis of confidence, there may be a role for Saponjic yet.

Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Celtic’s record transfer sales

  1. Kieran Tierney

    £25 million (Arsenal)

  2. Moussa Dembele

    £19.7 million (Lyon)

  3. Victor Wanyama

    £12.5 million (Southampton)

  4. Virgil van Dijk

    £11.5 million (Southampton)

  5. Fraser Forster

    £10 million (Southampton)

In other news, Report: Tottenham have a strong interest in signing 'unbelievable' star