America De Quito midfielder Jose Cifuentes has confirmed that Celtic are interested in his services this summer.
The 20-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Celtic Park ahead of the new season, with boss Neil Lennon keen on adding to his midfield options after signing Luca Connell from Bolton Wanderers.
Cifuentes recently caught the eye at the Under 20 World Cup with Ecuador, helping them to a surprising third-place finish.
And talking to Football Scotland, Cifuentes confirmed that the Hoops are interested in him but denied that there is a concrete deal set to be finalised.
I think that [as you say] it’s a rumour, and as for any contact [with Celtic] my agent is handling that. I understand that there is interest but nothing concrete.
The powerful midfielder then went on to share his desire to play in Europe, revealing he has heard plenty about the club prior to the Hoops’ initial interest.
I want to have the opportunity to leave for Europe. Celtic is a big club with everything that they play for. I had heard of the club before [the interest started].
Celtic have until September 1 to secure more summer additions, however, the Hoops will be hoping to do the majority of their business before then, with Cifuentes a realistic option for the Scottish champions.
Why Cifuentes would be a smart signing
Cifuentes is powerful, strong in the tackle and technically gifted, three attributes that could see him become a Celtic favourite if he completes a move to Scotland.
At just 20, the Ecuadorian has plenty of time to improve on his already impressive game.
The next Wanyama?
An unknown defensive midfielder joining Celtic. Cifuentes has similarities to former Hoops midfielder Victor Wanyama and could be just what the club needs this summer.
Cheap transfer fee
Cifuentes could cost the club under £5m, a fee which could turn out to be an extremely cheap piece of business if the youngster impresses during his first few seasons at the club.