CELTIC are stepping up their efforts to sign £4mil­lion-rated Norwegian in­ter­na­tional right-back Omar Elab­del­laoui.

The Hoops were interested in the Olympiakos de­fender during the January transfer window, but baulked at meeting his weekly salary, thought to be in the region of £35,000.

Instead, Jeremy Toljan arrived on loan from Borussia Dortmund until the end of the season and his days were numbered at Parkhead when Neil Lennon took over from Brendan Rodgers in February are brought back old favourite Mikael Lustig.

However, the Swede left the champions at the end of his contract in the summer to join Belgian outfit Gent and Costa Rican star Cristian Gamboa also quit at the same time after becoming a bit-part player during his three years at the club after being bought for £1.2million from West Brom.

Lennon paid an identical fee to land Hatem Abd Elhamed from Hapoel Be’er Sheva last month and also splashed £3million on left-back Boli Bolingoli from Rapid Vienna following the £25million switch of Kieran Tierney to Arsenal and Emilio Izaguirre return to Honduras.

Lech Poznan’s £6million-rated Roberty Gummy is also on the club’s wanted list, but Elab­del­laoui is now their top target, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Crystal Palace expressed an interest in the Scandinavian before the English transfer deadline.

With Lennon determined to strengthen both full-back positions, it looks almost certain the 27-year-old defender WILLbe leaving his Greek outfit before Europe’s September 2 cut-off for deals.

Elabdellaoui started at Manchester City and had loan spells at Stroms­god­set, Feyeno­ord and Hull City.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Dunfermline this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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