CELTIC have been linked with Nantes left-back Quentin Merlin – but the champions will baulk at the £7million asking fee.

Brendan Rodgers will continue his search of the market place as he strengthens his squad before the August 31 midnight deadline.

Twenty-one-year-old Merlin, who has represented France through the youth ranks up to Under-21 level, in now on the wanted list, according a Twitter report from a local media source.

Translated, it read: “Celtic observe Quentin Merlin’s situation. No approach at the moment.”

A response from a reader asked for a possible transfer fee and was told “between eight to 12 million euros”. That equates to between £6.88m and £10.32m and even the lower figure is unlikely to attract the treble winners.

Merlin, under contract until the summer of 2026, has come through the academy ranks at the Ligue 1 club and has made 64 first-team appearances while being tipped for a step up to the full French squad in the near future.

Rodgers already has Scotland international Greg Taylor in the No.3 slot with Argentinian Alexandro Bernabei as back-up.

JUST MAGIC…Quentin Merlin in action for Nantes.

The Hoops boss also has a decision to make on versatile Republic of Ireland star Liam Scales who spent last season loan at Aberdeen with Pittodrie gaffer Barry Robson to bring him back to the north east.

The 25-year-old Irishman was signed for £600,000 from Shamrock Rovers in August 2021 and is out of contract in June 2025.

Scales is equally at home at left-back or centre-half. He played the antire 90 minutes-plus in the middle of the rearguard in the team’s 1-1 draw with Wolves in the friendly in the Aviva Stadium last month.

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