CELTIC will discover within 24 hours if they have lost out in the chase for Australian midfielder Riley McGree.

Ange Postecoglou, who elevated the 23-year-old playmaker to international level, hoped to have the fifth deal of the January transfer window done and dusted by the weekend.

However, Middlesbrough, chasing promotion to the Premier League, have come on the scene in an effort to hi-jack the deal and it looks as though McGree will not follow the Japanese trio of Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi plus Irish teenage striker Johnny Kenny to Parkhead.

WATCHING BRIEF…Ange Postecoglou keeps an eye on training at Lennoxtown this week.

Boro boss Chris Wilder has upped the transfer ante to £5million – £2million more than the original fee of the Major Soccer League – and weekly wages of £14,000 plus add-ons appear to have priced the Hoops out of the move for the Charlotte FC star who completed his impressive loan stay at Birmingham City at the turn of the year.

According to TeessideLive, McGree has already had his medical at the Riverside outfit and it appears it is just a question of personal details being sorted on a five-year deal before the transfer is announced.

The Hoops hierarchy and Postecoglou, with a busy period ahead of him before the window closes at midnight on January 31, will NOT get drawn into a bidding war for the outstanding talent, as CQN reported yesterday.

With the market place still open, names are flying around all over the place and the Greek-Australian gaffer has already been linked with Iranian forward Mehdi Ghayedi and AZ Alkmaar’s Icelandic midfielder Albert Guomundsson who is a free agent in the summer.

Watch this space!

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