Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley has confirmed Celtic’s interest in Liam Scales but told the Irish Independent a number of Premier League clubs are also in the race.
Just yesterday, reports emerging from the other side of the Irish Sea suggested the 22-year-old defender was on the verge of becoming Ange Postecoglou’s fifth signing as Celtic boss.
And while Scales may still end up at Parkhead – the Hoops are understood to have made a bid in the region of £500,000 – things aren’t quite as ‘imminent’ as they initially appeared.
According to Bradley, the Republic of Ireland U21 international will still be a Shamrock Rovers player when the Dublin-based outfit travels to Albania for their UEFA Conference League qualifier second leg against KF Teuta next week.
Furthermore, Celtic are also facing competition from south of the border – and not just from the likes of Portsmouth and Cardiff City.
Could Celtic lose out on Liam Scales move?
“I know there’s a lot of interest and there has been for quite some time but, right now, Liam is fully focused on tomorrow (UEFA Conference League qualifier home leg). But there’s a lot of serious interest from the English Premier League and Scotland,” says Bradley.
“There have been bids put down – Celtic and others. There is a lot of interest.
“To be fair, Liam has been brilliant – even last year signing a new deal when there was interest there. He’s really calm and takes things in his stride and thinks about things.
“I fully expect Liam to be with us next week.”
A centre-half by trade, the versatile Scales impressed Celtic’s scouts in a forward-thinking, left wing-back role as Shamrock Rovers lost narrowly to Slovakian outfit Slovan Bratislava in the Champions League qualifiers last month.
Scales, who can also play in central midfield, could perhaps be used as an all-action utility man under Ange Postecoglou, someone capable of filling in when required in a number of different positions.
Celtic, it must be said, are short of cover at centre-half and left-back, while the jury is still out on the rough-edged Ismaila Soro.
A £500,000 fee, meanwhile, would make Scales the most expensive export in League of Ireland history.