JOZO SIMUNOVIC has emerged as a £5million target for French top flight outfit Lille.

And the Ligue 1 side have already made contact with Celtic over the availability of the 24-year-old Croatian, according to a report in The Sun.

The centre-half is a favourite of Neil Lennon who is short on central defenders with Dedryck Boyata leaving at the end of his contract to join Herthe Berlin.

Christopher Jullien, the £7million purchase from Toulouse, has been brought in, but the champions are still light in numbers at the heart of the rearguard with Kristoffer Ajer being deployed at right-back for the Champions League qualifiers against FK Sarajevo.

Lille, though, are likely to test the Hoops’ resolved with a firm offer during this transfer window for the player who joined the Parkhead club from Dinamo Zagreb for £4million in the summer of 2015.

Simunovic has been a regular under Ronny Deila, Brendan Rodgers and Lennon, who will fight to keep the defender.

Ironically, the pivot will miss the first two Premiership outings of the new campaign against St Johnstone on August 3 and Motherwell a week later after copping a two-game SFA ban following his sending-off in the pre-season goalless draw against St Gallen in Switzerland, as CQN reported yesterday.

Lille paid £10million for former Celtic loan star Timothy Weah from Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month.


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