CELTIC have slapped in an increased bid of £5million for AEK Athens’ Greek international keeper Vasilios Barkas, according to a report.

Neil Lennon has been linked with the impressive shotstopper since last month and stepped up his interest with a £3.5million offer, as CQN reported yesterday.

However, the Athens club insist they will not allow the 26-year-old netminder to leave for what they term a bargain fee for their No.1 who has been capped 10 times.

French outfit Montpellier and newly-promoted Leeds United have also been credited with an interest in Barkas, but the Elland Road side would appear to be out of the running after boss Marcelo Bielsa paid £5million for netminder Illan Meslier from Lorient.

Reports from the Greek capital insist the towering last line of defence has been told of the personal terms on offer from the Hoops and there is no problem on that front.

Barkas played in the Champions League qualifiers against the champions in 2018 when AEK managed a 1-1 draw in Glasgow and won 2-1 at home.

Lennon has not abandoned all hope of landing Fraser Forster, but hopes are dwindling the longer the situation with Southampton is dragged out.

He has also been linked with former Hoops star Davie Marshall, at financially-stricken Wigan, and ex-England international custodian Joe Hart, who has quit Burnley at the end of his contract.

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