CELTIC are on the verge of becoming major shareholders in League of Ireland side Shamrock Rovers.

Multi-billionaire Irish businessman Dermot Desmond, the Scottish champions’  largest individual shareholder, has been reported to be pushing for a deal that would form an alliance between the clubs.

The teams already enjoy close links and the Parkhead side have visited Shamrock’s Tallaght Stadium for friendlies in the past two summers as boss Brendan Rodgers has prepared his squad for the new campaigns.

If a deal can be struck, Celtic are likely to have first call on the rising stars in Shamrock’s youth academy in return for their investment.

The up-and-coming Hoops youngsters could also be given the opportunity to gain first-team experience in the League of Ireland as part of the arrangement.

Talks are expected to continue throughout the month with an announcement likely to be made in early February.

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