Celtic fall behind in four-horse race for Premier League defender, reports say

Celtic have reportedly been dealt a blow in their bid to land Tottenham Hotspur defender Japhet Tanganga after AC Milan ‘stole a step’ in their bid to bring the starlet to San Siro on a permanent deal .

Tanganga burst onto the scene in 2019/20, where he was tasked with scoring Liverpool’s creeping stars and putting on a man of the match despite losing 1-0 to the runaway Reds that season.

Since then, he has always impressed at the back for the Lilywhites no matter their cut and change managerial scenario, having played under four different managers during his first-team career in north London.

With the signings of Cristian Romero and Clement Lenglet over the past year, Tanganga has fallen down the pecking order and a potential move to Celtic Park has been touted as he opts for game time over a stagnant career.

Japhet Tanganga could be looking for a Tottenham departure, with Celtic an option // Credit: GETTY images

But although Ange Postecoglou had expressed his interest in Antonio Conte, Calciomercato reported on Monday that AC Milan were ready to “take a hit” for Tanganga.

The Serie A champions were apparently keen to lower Tottenham’s £24million asking price with a loan-to-buy deal, although it remains to be seen whether that would appeal to Tottenham.

It won’t be easy for Tanganga to move to Milan, who have already entered the English market for a young defender in Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori and may choose to do the same again.

Celtic, Monaco and Bournemouth are all in the race to sign him, but Milan’s league successes last season could prove detrimental to the Hoops’ cause.

But if a deal cannot be struck, Celtic could step in at the last minute to give Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt competition ahead of a grueling season.

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