Liam Scales is set to break the transfer record for a League of Ireland player should his move from Shamrock Rovers to Celtic be finalised in this transfer window.
The Scottish Premier League club have opened negotiations with Rovers who could command €600,000, plus add-ons, for the defender, given he’s contracted until the end of 2022.
Roy O’Donovan’s €500,000 move to Roy Keane’s Sunderland from Cork City in 2007 was surpassed in 2018 by Gavin Bazunu’s transfer to Manchester City, according to Rovers.
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has promised disgruntled fans reinforcements after their midweek Champions League exit to Midtjylland was compounded by a 2-1 defeat to Hearts in Saturday’s SPL opener.
A number of English Championship and League One clubs have also intensified their pursuit of the 22-year-old but the Bhoys are favourites amid ongoing talks.
Celtic's principal shareholder, Cork-born billionaire Dermot Desmond, purchased a 25 percent stake in Rovers in 2019.
Scales was still an Ireland U21 international last year when choosing Rovers ahead of St Patrick’s Athletic for his switch from UCD and he ended the disrupted 2020 season as a title-winner.
During that campaign, he featured primarily as a centre-back but has shown his versatility this term as the left-wing back spot, beating off competition Sean Kavanagh to make the role his own.
Rovers will be keen to hang onto their prize asset for their European run which continues on with Thursday’s Europa Conference League first leg against Albanian outfit Teuta from Durrës at Tallaght Stadium (8pm).
They have already grossed €1.1m by virtue of the Champions Path they are on in Uefa’s European club structure, with another €300,000 on offer for progressing to a play-off against the loser of the tie between Omonoia and Flora Tallinn.
However, they would have to compromise on their fee for any suitor to agree to delay their recruitment by a couple of weeks, given Celtic’s season has commenced and the English Football League campaign kicks off this weekend.