Celtic and West Ham United have both been linked with a move for Northern Ireland defender Paddy McNair, The Northern Echo report.
The Lowdown: McNair profiled
McNair is 26 years of age and is primarily a centre-back who can also turn out as a holding midfielder. A 49-cap international, McNair has been with Championship side Middlesbrough since 2018, making 133 appearances for the club.
Celtic are after three Japanese January signings in Reo Hatate, Yosuke Ideguchi and Daizen Maeda, while they are also expected to make Jota’s loan permeant. Football Scotland believes that could be all of their January business, but it seems as if the Hoops may have room to swoop for McNair as well.
The Latest: Hoops keen
The Northern Echo shared a story on Wednesday regarding McNair and his future ahead of the January window.
They claimed that both the Hoops and the Hammers are monitoring his situation at The Riverside, with Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder keen to keep hold of McNair in the New Year.
How many more signings do Celtic need this month?
The Verdict: Avoid?
Ange Postecoglou already has plenty of centre-backs on the books at this moment in time, so a move for McNair doesn’t appear to be desperately needed.
Christopher Jullien will be Postecoglou’s sixth option at the back when he returns from injury, and the Hoops boss also has a number of defensive and central midfield options, especially with Hatate and Ideguchi on the radar.
McNair was also pictured wearing a Rangers scarf outside Ibrox back in 2019, so his name may not exactly be a popular one with Celtic supporters, so it could be wise to allow West Ham to win the race for his services.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience