Parkhead side set to snap up Bluebirds hero.
Celtic are close to signing Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ledley.
The 23-year-old has been in Glasgow for talks and was shown around the club’s Lennoxtown training complex on Monday.
He is reaching the end of his contract, but Celtic face competition from Everton, West Ham Utd, Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic for his services.
But Ledley could be Neil Lennon’s first signing as the club’s new manager, with the Northern Irishman expected to be confirmed in the post within days.
Ledley’s hopes of entering the Premier League in England with Cardiff were dashed when they lost 3-2 in the Championship play-off final despite the midfielder scoring to put the Welsh side 2-1 ahead.
The Cardiff-born product of the club’s youth system will not have had to look far to receive advice about playing for one of Scotland’s two major clubs.
Cardiff winger Chris Burke, midfielder Gavin Rae and striker Ross McCormack all played for Celtic’s city rivals, Rangers.
Indeed, the Ibrox club are also said to have been tracking Ledley, while Cardiff’s new board said last week that they would offer the player an improved offer to stay.
His negotiations with his hometown club had dragged on for 18 months, but he said he would only make a decision on his future once he knew which division they would be playing in next season.
Ledley, who has been with Cardiff since the age of nine, was distraught at the final whistle at Wembley, possibly an indication that he realised his ambitions would take him away from Wales.
While clubs from England’s top flight would have to pay a compensation fee to Cardiff for Ledley because he is under 24, Celtic would be able to sign him for free.
Cross-border transfers do not require a fee once a player turns 23 and Rochdale were left disappointed at the end of the season, when Aberdeen snapped up Northern Ireland defender Rory McArdle in similar circumstances. (BBC Sport)
If Neil Lennon manages to beat interest from potential suitors from the Premier League in the race for Joe Ledley then he will have done very well indeed. The 23 year old has been in demand for quite some time and is a player who has outgrown his club and could well be one hell of a bargain buy considering he will cost Celtic absolutely nothing.
After completing his sixth season in the Bluebirds first team in disappointment, seeing his side lose to Blackpool in the Play-Off Final there must have been a sense that the talented midfielder had played his last game for Cardiff and surely no fan can begrudge his leaving the Welsh side after such sterling service. I can see Ledley being a big success north of the border but one wonders if Everton or West Ham may sneak in and nab the Welsh international.