Celtic look set to miss out on Motherwell midfielder David Turnbull after reportedly dropping interest in the Scot.
Reports have claimed that Celtic are now out of the race to land Turnbull after he rejected their initial contract offer.
Celtic agreed a fee in the region of £3.2m for Turnbull, but failed to agree personal terms with the player and his agent.
Premier League side Norwich City are now said to be the favourites after also having a bid accepted by Motherwell this week, with the midfielder set for talks with the English club in the coming days.
Neil Lennon is yet to make his first signing of the summer, but is clearly in the market for a central midfielder – given that is where Turnbull play.
So, who else could they target as an alternative to Norwich-bound Turnbull? Here are some central midfielders Celtic could look to sign ahead of next season…
The Scottish midfielder seems to be an obvious target for Celtic. However, Manchester United may not be willing to part ways with the Scotland international as they look bounce back from a poor 2018/19 campaign.
The Barnsley midfielder has shone in the lower leagues in England and impressed as they won promotion to the Championship last term. The Northern Irishman could be a smart purchase for Celtic as they look to bolster their midfield options.
Celtic could look to make a move for Chelsea holding midfielder Trevor Chalobah. He spent last season on loan to Ipswich in the Championship as they finished bottom of the table, but did show flashes of quality in the struggling side.
The Sheffield Wednesday man has had a few impressive seasons in the Championship and could be ready for a new challenge in his career. His range of passing and ability to control games could make him a very shrewd signing for Celtic.
The West Ham midfielder has already been linked with a move to Celtic Park. Browne spent last season on loan to Oxford, where he clearly caught the eye of Celtic with his performances.
Skipp was handed a smattering of first-team opportunities by Tottenham last season and could be ready for a full season out on loan to develop. Celtic could offer him the chance to come to Scotland and hone his skills next term.
Another player who Celtic have already been linked with in the transfer window so far. The Dutch midfielder enjoyed a good season with Utretch last term and could add some extra quality to the Celtic midfield.
The teenage midfielder looks set to leave Bolton this summer after breaking into the first-team earlier this year and Celtic could be a potential option. Although he may not be ready to play in Lennon’s first-team straight away, he would be a good signing for the future.
Harper is out of contract with West Brom at the end of the month and could be available for a cut-price compensation fee. The dynamic midfielder would offer Celtic a different option in the middle of the park.
After Sunderland failed to secure promotion back to the Championship last season, midfielder Joe Aribo could be tempted by a move up north to Celtic. The youngster would be a solid addition to Neil Lennon’s current crop of players.
Celtic could be ambitious and try to land Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount on loan. Mount enjoyed a good spell with Derby in the Championship, but could benefit from the prospect of European football at Celtic next season.
If Leeds decide that Forshaw is not in their plans for next season, Celtic could make a move for the midfielder to bolster their squad. He’s neat and tidy on the ball and likes to make a challenge in the midfield.
Sawyers has caught the eye with his performances for Brentford over the last few years and could be ready for a big move away from the Championship. Celtic could make a move for the talented midfielder as they look to add more depth to their squad.
Although doubts have been raised over his discipline, there is certainly a talented player there. If Lennon could coach the more dangerous side to his game out of him, he could be a top player for Celtic.