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FRENCH TARGET £5m CELT

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FRENCH side Lille have been linked with a shock £5million move for Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic.

A £2.8million signing from Dinamo Zagreb in August 2015, the Bosnian defender signed a new four-year deal last season and is under contract until 2021.

Simunovic was close to quitting the Hoops two years ago for Torino two years ago, but settled under Brendan Rodgers to stake a first team claim.

However, he was dropped after a poor performance in the 4-0 loss to Hearts at Tynecastle in December, but returned before being sent off in the 3-2 win at Ibrox in March.

Boss Rodgers teamed Dedryck Boyata with Kristoffer Ajer for most of the remaining fixtures although Simunovic made a substutute appearance in the 2-0 Scottish Cup Final win over Motherwell in May.

Lille are rebuilding after the departure of coach Marcelo Bielsa and a narrow escape from relegation in the final weeks of the season.

They escaped the drop after struggling into 17th place. The French outfit now have the classy centre-back on their radar as they rebuild for the new campaign.

With Belgian World Cup defender Boyata, who played in his nation’s 1-0 win over England last night, dragging his heels over a new contract, it remains to be seen if Rodgers would accept losing another experienced central defender with Champions League experience.

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