MARIO VUSKOVIC appears to have taken a step closer to a £5million move to Celtic after being left out of Hadjuk Split’s latest pre-season warm-up.

The 19-year-old centre-back has been an ever-present during the Croatian club’s training camp in Slovenia, but missed the match against NK Odranci.

The non-appearance of Vuskovic immediately triggered speculation and local media outlet Sportske reported the defender’s absence was down to “preparing for the transfer to Celtic ”.

Head coach Jens Gustafsson, though, was quick to dismiss the claims and during his post-match interview he insisted his player was merely being “rested”.

However, another Croatian media source, Slobodana Dalmacija, noted there are “ongoing negotiations” over a move to the Parkhead club.

Ange Postecoglou is battling against time as he prepares to put his Hoops first-team jigsaw together. Players coming in from overseas will have to undergo 10 days’ isolation while the opening Champions League qualifying second round first leg against FC Midtjylland is due in Glasgow in 15 days’ time with the return in Denmark on July 28.

Plus there is the ongoing situation with Kristoffer Ajer who has stated he wants to leave the club this season and is now likely to be the subject of an enhanced £12million bid from Norwich City, as CQN reported earlier today.

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