Celtic are set to go head-to-head with another European club to sign Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie, according to reports.
Battle for McKenzie begins
According to Belgian newspaper Het Beland van Limburg (28/12 print edition, Sports page 8), Genk will look to acquire the services of the United States international in January.
They added that Blauw-Wit manager John van den Brom has confirmed that their defensive area is where they need to strengthen, with Celtic named as one of the clubs battling the Belgians for McKenzie.
Valued at £3.6m (TransferMarkt), the 21-year-old has scored twice from 59 appearances for Union and came through the ranks at the MLS side, and his form helped him to secure his debut for the national team earlier in the year.
With Shane Duffy being heavily scrutinised since his loan move from Premier League side Brighton, there could be an opportunity for the Bhoys to strengthen their defensive unit with young talent.
Transfer Tavern Verdict
McKenzie can play in any position in central defence and can also be utilised as a left-back if required. This is the sort of versatility that Neil Lennon needs in his team.
Celtic have shipped 14 goals this season, in comparison to Rangers’ five, and are 16 points off the pace to their nearest rivals (Fotmob).
With this in mind, Lennon needs to invest in his backline if wants any chance of winning 10-in-a-row and must convince chairman Peter Lawwell to do so.
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