BRENDAN RODGERS is poised to make Aston Villa winger Scott Sinclair his second Celtic signing.
The Hoops manager’s former Swansea star is set for a round of talks and could follow Moussa Dembele in joining the Rodgers Revolution with Ireland and Blackburn stopper Shane Duffy also likely to arrive at Parkhead.
CQN revealed Sinclair, valued in the £2million range, was on the champions’ radar over a week ago today, just as we were the first media to report that Fulham striker Dembele was on his way last Friday.
There can be little doubt the capture of the 27-year-old ex-Chelsea and Manchester City would be another major coup for Rodgers and the five-in-a-row champions.
The manager and player were united for the first time at Swansea in August 2010 when Sinclair arrived on a bargain £500,000 move from the Stamford Bridge outfit after loan spells at Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City and Wigan.
The speedy raider knocked back Blackpool, then in the top flight, to join Rodgers at the Welsh club who were in the Championship at the time.
Sinclair thumped in a hat-trick as Swansea beat Reading 4-2 in the Play-Off Final at Wembley to reach the Premier League in 2011.
He also became the first player to score for the club in the top league when he netted a penalty-kick in a 3-0 victory over West Brom.
Manchester City paid £8million to lure him to the Etihad in August 2012. However, Sinclair became a bit-part player at City and later claimed ex-boss Roberto Mancini never gave him a chance to prove himself in the first team.
Sinclair had a frustrating season on loan at West Brom and returned to City before agreeing a temporary move to Aston Villa in January last year.
His first goal for the Midlands outfit was a memorable FA Cup Fifth Round winner over Leicester City a month later. He netted again in the 2-0 quarter-final triumph over West Brom.
Villa made his move permanent once they had secured Premier League safety and a fee of around £2.5million was agreed with City.
However, the touchline flyer struggled to make an impact in a Villa side that lost their way after sacking Paul Lambert and replacing him with Tim Sherwood who was later succeeded by Frenchman Remi Garde. Former Celtic assistant coach Eric Black was put in temporary charge near the end of a dreadful season as the club lost their top-class status.
Roberto di Matteo took over last month and, although he would prefer to keep Sinclair, it looks as though he won’t stand in the way of the player who is keen to hook up again with Rodgers at the Scottish Champions.
Rodgers, who has also been linked with Blackburn Rovers’ Republic of Ireland centre-half Shane Duffy, has been working overtime as he reshapes the squad he inherited from Ronny Deila.
He sold misfit Stefan Scepovic to Spanish outfit Getafe yesterday for £1 million as the club cut its losses on the Serbian striker who netted a mere six goals in 25 appearances for the club.
Scottish Cup hero Anthony Stokes was also released before Rodgers triggered a one-year option on his contract and Colin Kazim-Richards, signed by Deila on a two-and-a-half year deal from Feyenoord in January, has moved to Brazil. Carlton Cole’s contract was terminated.
Kieran Tierney has pledged his future to the Hoops after signing a five-year deal, Charlie Mulgrew is contemplating a two-year extension and James Forrest, who knocked back the offer of a new contract in February, will be the given the opportunity to impress the Irishman.
Forrest is keen to remain at the club and the new Celtic manager sees him as a player that he can get the best out of so a new contract later this year is likely to suit both parties.
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