CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers is ready to kick off his January spending with a £2.8million move for Ivory Coast midfielder Kouassi Eboue that blindsided the Scottish media.
The club appear to have agreed a fee with the 19-year-old powerhouse’s Russian club Krasnador.
Now they must strike personal terms and apply for a work permit, but Rodgers is confident the deal will go through.
A four-year contract has been put on the table and the Parkhead gaffer is optimistic hopes Eboue can become the long-term replacement for current Hoops skipper Scott Brown, who, at 31, is 12 years his senior.
The deep-lying anchorman has made 18 appearances for Krasnador this season and helped them reach the last 32 of the Europa League.
His strength is his defensive qualities and reading of play, but he is also noted for his dribbling and passing skills.
Eboue was recently awarded his first Ivory Coast squad call-up, but has yet to make his international debut.
The talented teenager would become Rodgers’ sixth signing for the club since arriving as Ronny Deila’s successor in the summer.
He has already brought in Moussa Dembele, Scott Sinclair, Cristian Gamboa, Dorus de Vries and Ebou’s fellow-Ivorian Kolo Toure.
The champions are already running away with their sixth successive Premiership title with a 19-point lead plus a game in hand at the top of the table.
But Rodgers – who also wants to add an attacking midfield option to his squad – believes signing Eboue now will allow the player to get adjusted to life in Scotland before next season’s Champions League qualifiers.
The news of this signing broke on Twitter late yesterday afternoon when Russia Football News tweeted about the deal. The Scottish media jumped on a story that previously they had zero knowledge of.