CELTIC have rejected an initial approach from Toulouse for versatile Stephen Welsh.

The Ligue 1 side targeted the former Scotland Under-21s captain in an ambitious swoop on the champions.

However, the French outfit will be out of luck with the Hoops not interested in selling the 22-year-old central defender, according to a report in the Scottish Sun.

FLAT OUT…Stephen Welsh races into position in the 2-2 draw with Legia Warsaw last week.

FLAT OUT…Stephen Welsh is grounded after an over-zealous challenge from a Polish opponent.

Welsh, who is under contract until June 2025 after agreeing a four-year extension 12 months ago, was in Ange Postecoglou’s starting line-up for the 2-0 win over Norwich City at the weekend.

With Carl Starfelt sidelined with the injury sustained playing for Sweden in the summer, the youngster will almost certainly line up alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers in the middle of the defence when the Premiership launches against Aberdeen at Parkhead on Sunday.

Moritz Jenz, who agreed a season-long loan from Lorient last week, and Christopher Jullien were given game time in the second-half against the Championship outfit, but Welsh, who can also play at right-back, is likely to be given the nod to face the Dons.

Serie A outfit Udinese made a move for the player in January, but had TWO bids booted out by the Hoops, as CQN reported.

Welsh made 24 appearances for the Hoops last season and could become a key member of Postecoglou’s squad in the crucial new campaign.

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