CELTIC have been told they will have to pay £2million if they want to take Shane Duffy on a season-long loan deal from Brighton.

The 28-year-old Republic of Ireland international centre-back has already held talks with Neil Lennon about a switch to his boyhood heroes, as CQN reported.

However, the south coast club are playing hardball with the Parkhead side and are demanding a massive £2million fee just to allow the uncompromising defender to leave on a temporary transfer.

Duffy, who is under contract until 2023, made 19 appearances in the top flight last season and has slipped behind Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster in manager Graham Potter’s pecking order while Holland international stopper Joel Veltman has also joined the Seagulls from Ajax.

West Ham, West Brom and Burnley are also keen to take the player, but the back-four operator has made it clear his preference would be Celtic.

The proposed deal has stalled following the hefty loan fee being slapped on the former Blackburn Rovers star who cost Brighton £4million when he joined in 2016, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Newly-promoted West Brom are willing to pay a transfer fee to secure his services on a permanent basis, while Hammers boss David Moyes worked with Duffy at Everton.

Lennon is still looking to strengthen the heart of his rearguard after Jozo Simunovic left at the end of his contract in June. It is evident the club need competition for central defence with only Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer in place at the moment.

And the Hoops gaffer is also eyeing Leeds United’s Scotland international left-back Barry Douglas.

Entering the final year of his deal, Douglas, 30, who has also played for Queen’s Park, Dundee United and Wolves among others, has just helped the Elland Road team earn promotion to the Premier League.

There is the possibility of the offer of an extension from the Yorkshire outfit, but the full-back is willing to listen to an offer from Scotland’s title kings.

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