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HOOPS STEP UP PLAYER SEARCH

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NEIL LENNON will step up his interest in Rosenborg left-back Birger Meling as the September 2 transfer deadline edges closer.

The Celtic boss has already stated he will need to strengthen a defence that has lost Kieran Tierney, Mikael Lustig, Dedryck Boyata, Emilio Izaguirre, Jeremy Toljan and Filip Benkovic from last season.

He has spent £11.2million in recruiting full-backs Hatem Abd Elhamed and Boli Bolingoli while centre-half Christopher Jullien arrived from Toulouse last month.

But Lennon acknowledges he still requires options in the wide defensive positions and Meling, who has been impressive for his club against the Hoops in recent European competitions, is on the Irishman’s wanted list, as CQN reported earlier this week.

The team’s urgent need for a dependable No.3 was highlighted when Callum McGregor was taken out of his influential midfield role to play in the position in the disastrous 4-3 loss to Cluj in the Champions League calamity on Tuesday night.

That will hasten Lennon’s move for cover and the 10 times-capped Norwegian international is in the throes of being lined up, according to football outlet Index.hr.

They claim the champions’ interest in the player has been “growing louder” in the last two days.

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