Celtic are leading the chase to sign coveted defender Ciaron Brown from Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City side this summer, as reported by TEAMtalk.
Only a few months ago, the Scottish Premiership giants were being tipped to raid Cardiff for their 62-year-old manager.
Speculation linking McCarthy with the vacant managerial post at Celtic has disappeared as quickly as it emerged, however, and if the Hoops are going to target a Cardiff City man this summer it will be a London-born central defender rather than their booming, Barnsley-born tactician.
After returning to South Wales from a loan spell at Livingston, Brown wasted little time in forcing his way into McCarthy’s plans.
In fact, the 23-year-old started each of Cardiff’s final 12 Championship fixtures, standing out either at centre-half or left-back.
It is no surprise, then, that Cardiff are planning to trigger the one-year extension clause in his contract as they look to stop Brown leaving the Bluebirds on a free this summer.
The youngster is understood to have interest in England and Belgium, although Celtic are leading the chase for a man who produced a goal and an assist against Neil Lennon’s side in a 2-2 draw with Livingston in January.
Intelligent, versatile and blessed with plenty of quality in possession, the Northern Ireland international could offset the potential departures of Kristoffer Ajer and Shane Duffy at Celtic while also giving the club’s next manager – more than likely Eddie Howe – some much-needed cover at left-back.