Celtic have been told they’ll need to stump up for Cameron Carter-Vickers because the US star wants to leave Tottenham for good.
The Hoops remain in talks with Spurs over the 23-year-old but any hope of a loan move is a non-starter with the centre-back eager to secure a permanent move out of the North London club.
Celtic also face a fight with Turkish big guns Galatasaray and Fenerbahce for top right back target Aurelio Buta as Ange Postecoglou looks to bolster his back line.
The Parkhead club are bang in the hunt to snap up £3m rated Buta but there are fears the interest from Istanbul could spark a bidding war.
Postecoglou claimed at the weekend he was confident of landing “at least another couple” of signings this week.
Carter-Vickers remains a target but has also attracted interest from Norwich City, Newcastle and Bournemouth where he spent the second half of last season on loan.
Spurs’ £5million asking price for the eight-times capped USA stopper, who is in the final 12 months of his contract, could prove a stumbling block with Belgians Anderlecht and Brugge also linked.
Celtic were keen on exploring a loan option. But Carter-Vickers is determined to seal a Spurs exit having been on their books for 12 years.
A source close to the player said: “Cameron needs a fresh start to kick start his career. A loan move is not something he’d be keen on.”
Celts are in desperate need of reinforcements with Olivier Ntcham the latest to head to the exit door after Parkhead chiefs yesteday agreed to rip up the remaining year of his contract.
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The 25-year-old was spotted in the stands at Marseille on Saturday night, as his former loan club took on Villarreal in a pre-season friendly.
But Ntcham is not expected to return to the Ligue 1 outfit with AEK Athens waiting in the wings to bag the midfielder.
Celtic had hoped to bank a transfer fee but decided to cut their losses on the ex-France under 21 star after it was clear he was determined to go.
Boss Postecoglou wants to concentrate on incomings after his squad’s deficiencies were shown up again on Saturday as they crashed to defeat on the opening day of the season at Hearts.
The Aussie chucked new defender Carl Starfelt a debut and introduced Kyogo Furuhashi from the bench just 24 hours after the pair came out of quarantine.
But the Parkhead gaffer needs a raft of new recruits and had hoped to have Buta on board after intial talks progressed.
Celts are still in the frame but the move has stalled and now the Turkish big hitters have entered the frame.
Postecoglou has several irons in the fire and it’s understood former Everton star James McCarthy ’s name has been put to the club but no decision has yet been made to take it forward.
The 30-year-old – who burst on to the scene as a teenager at Hamilton, is a free agent after his Crystal Palace contract expired and is believed to be keen on finally signing for Celtic after coming close on several occasions.
Record Sport understands McCarthy was ready to put pen to paper on a short term deal under Brendan Rodgers three years ago – but Celts were not prepared to couch up the Everton loan fee.
The midfielder has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons and would need several weeks to get up to speed, while the Hoops are looking for arrivals to make an immediate impact.
Ntcham’s future will lie elsewhere though after the Frenchman bid an emotional goodbye to the Celtic fans on his social media.
Ntcham said: “I would like to thank everyone at Celtic for the three-and-a-half years l was there.
“Thanks to all the coaching, the staff, the players and everyone working at the club. Finally, I would like to thank the loyal supporters who have always supported us.
“I wish you all the best for the future.”
Ntcham was signed from Man City for £4.5m in 2017 and showed signs of huge potential in his time at the club, with impressive displays against Rangers and in Europe, with the winning goal in the Europa League clash against Lazio in Rome in 2019 the highlight.
Celts also knocked back a bid of around £12.5m from Porto 18 months ago but there were also bouts of inconsistency and he spent much of last term angling for an exit.
He returned from an unsuccessful six month stint at Marseille vowing to Postecoglou he was willing to fight for his future after the AEK move didn’t come off at first.
But he failed to convince the boss and both parties were content to cut ties.