CELTIC are keeping tabs on Israeli wonderkid Oscar Gloukh.

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder is under contract at Maccabi Tel Aviv until June 2024 and has been watched by Hoops scouts since the start of the season.

Just a month after taking over as Neil Lennon’s long-term successor, Ange Postecoglou raided the Israel market for one of his first buys for the club when he paid £3.5million for goalscoring winger Liel Abada from Hapoel Petah Tikva.

TEENAGE WONDERBOY…Oscar Gloukh is on Celtic’s radar.

The Hoops have maintained as interest in the country’s top talent and others such as Nir Bitton, Ismaila Soro, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Beram Kayal have joined the Parkhead outfit in recent years.

Postecoglou and recruitment chief Mark Lawwell are planning ahead to cover all eventualities in the January transfer window.

The World Cup Finals in November and December could trigger interest in the champions’ contingent with Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda all likely to be involved with Japan.

Cameron Carter-Vickers (USA), Josip Juranovic (Croatia) and Aaron Mooy (Australia) could also shine during football’s extravaganza in Qatar. Outstanding performances will undoubtedly attract the attention of cash-rich clubs who could attempt to make the Parkhead club offers they cannot refuse.

A NOD AND A WINK…Ange Postecoglou keeps and eye on the transfer market.

Postecoglou has been putting a programme in place and that could be triggered if there is a frenzy on the sales front at the turn of the year and impressive teen Gloukh, valued by his club around the £8million mark, is one who is interesting the Greek-Australian gaffer.

Another starlet who is on his radar is exciting Aussie 17-year-old forward Garang Kuol who has scored four goals in his first seven games for Tom Rogic’s former club, Central Coast Mariners.

The A-League sensation has just been called into the Socceroos squad for two friendly games against New Zealand on Thursday and a week today. Mooy is also likely to play in the warm-up games.

Asked if the next window could be busier than normal in the fall-out of the World Cup, Postecoglou answered: “Yeah, you’re right. And that’s part of it. We showed last year that we always want to stay ahead of the game.

“Last January, without certainty or being able to predict the future, we thought about certain positions and what was needed. We’re doing the same again this year.

“We have already started planning and have identified the targets that we need.

WELCOME TO THE SQUAD…Garang Kuol and former Hibs star Jason Cummings named in Australia pool for the World Cup warm-ups against New Zeland.

“We will look to bring in players in January that hopefully then insulates us in case any of our players are taken off our hands. It’s part of our planning and we’re well underway in ensuring we are ready for that.”

Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “Mark knows how I look at things and we’re planning for the next two, three, four windows – and trying to project what gaps we potentially might have.

“We look at the age demographic of our list and we have a lot in the younger bracket at the moment.

“We know that in the next few years that will progress and some of our players will move on. So, we’ve got to make sure that we have players in the age group underneath who we can bring in and develop.

“You don’t just look at what the immediate concerns are, you look at medium term and long term issues, as well. That’s just as important.”

SMILES BETTER…Garang Kuol is a talent, according to Ange Postecoglou. 

Looking at Kuol, the Hoops chief added: “He is definitely a talent. In my generation, a lot of immigrants settled in Australia from a European background and some of our best footballing prospects came from those families.

“It’s a similar scenario now with a lot of immigration coming from African nations. They’re bringing their love of football to Australia.

“Kuol is one of those who is forging his way and there’s real talent coming through. Both him and his brother in Germany are very talented footballers and, hopefully, they continue to progress because Australia will benefit.”

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