Sheffield United are set to hold a fresh round of talks with Celtic in a bid to lure Gary Mackay-Steven to Bramall Lane.
The Star understands representatives acting on behalf of Chris Wilder’s side have already held a series of informal discussions with their counterparts in Glasgow after being alerted to the 26-year-old midfielder’s availability.
Those conversations could progress further later this week after it emerged Aberdeen, who were also monitoring Mackay-Stevens’ situation, could cool their interest.
United began the process of strengthening Wilder’s squad last month when Ched Evans, Nathan Thomas and Enda Stevens all arrived in South Yorkshire.
The League One champions, who have also kept tabs on Charlton Athletic forward Ricky Holmes and Southend captain Ryan Leonard, first identified Mackay-Stevens as a target last month.
Although United would prefer to negotiate permanent transfers, circumstances might force them to consider a loan arrangement.
Mackay-Steven’s deal is not scheduled to expire until 2019, so sources north of the border believe Parkhead’s hierarchy could initially demand between £500,000 and £750,000 for him. The £250,000 Celtic paid to sign him from Dundee United two and a half seasons ago was reduced only because he had already accepted a pre-contract agreement.
Blackburn Rovers are also keen on him.
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is now believed to view developing teenage winger Scott Wright as his main priority.
Capped once by Scotland, Mackay-Stevens made 10 appearances, including one against Manchester City in the Champions League, for Celtic last term.
Meanwhile, United’s David Brooks was named Player of the Competition following England’s success at the Toulon Tournament. Brooks, a graduate of the Steelphalt Academy, scored in the final against Ivory Coast, before the Young Lions eventually triumphed on penalties.
Brooks, aged 19, will spend the first half of next season on loan at Chesterfield.