Celtic have been handed a blow in their pursuit of midfielder Jose Cifuentes after the player admitted that he wants to leave this summer and is interested in joining Manchester City.

The Hoops have been linked with a move for the 20-year-old in recent weeks, with Premier League champions City also interested in signing the player.

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Cifuentes recently represented Ecuador at the Under 20 World Cup and played a key role in helping his country to a respectable third place finish.

The youngster, who scored an impressive long-range effort against the USA in the quarter-finals of the competition, currently plies his domestic trade with Ecuadorian side America de Quito.

And talking to El Comercio, cited by Inside Futbol, Cifuentes admitted he is hoping to leave his current club this summer, however, the player appears to be hoping for a move to England over Scotland.

My intention is to leave.

I have given everything of myself to America in Quito and I hope to leave before the end of the year.

One of the interested teams are Manchester City and I would like to be there.

I like English football and I want to go out and take on new challenges.

The news comes as a blow to Neil Lennon, who is hoping to add to his three summer recruits of Christopher Jullien, Luca Connell and Boli Mbombo in the coming weeks.

Four players Lennon could sign in the coming weeks