Celtic fall behind in four-horse race for Premier League defender, according to reports

Celtic have reportedly been dealt a blow in their attempts to land Tottenham Hotspur defender Japhet Tanganga after AC Milan ‘stole a march’ in their bid to bring the starlet to San Siro on a permanent deal.

Tanganga burst onto the scene in 2019/20, where he was tasked with marking Liverpool’s rampant stars and put in a man of the match performance despite losing 1-0 to the runaway Reds that season.

Since, he has always impressed at the back for the Lilywhites’ regardless of their chop-and-change managerial scenario, having played under four different managers in his first-team career in north London.

With the signings of Cristian Romero and Clement Lenglet over the last year, Tanganga has fallen down the pecking order and a potential move to Celtic Park was touted as he opts for game-time over a stagnating career.

Japhet Tanganga could be in the hunt for a move away from Tottenham, with Celtic an option // Credit: GETTY images

But despite Ange Postecoglou making his interest known to Antonio Conte, Calciomercato reported on Monday that AC Milan were ready to ‘sink a blow’ for Tanganga.

The Serie A champions apparently wished to bring Tottenham’s asking price of £24m down with a loan-to-buy deal, although it remains to be seen if that would entice Tottenham.

It will not be easy for Tanganga to move to Milan, who have already entered the English market for a young defender in Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea and could opt to do the same again.

Celtic, Monaco and Bournemouth are all in the race to sign him, but Milan’s successes in the league last season could prove detrimental to the Hoops’ cause.

But if a deal cannot be agreed, Celtic could swoop in at the last-minute to give Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt competition ahead of a gruelling season.

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