According to 90 Min, Celtic are pursuing a deal for Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy, but see Middlesbrough’s Paddy McNair as a back-up option.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon is a big admirer of McNair and has been scouting the Northern Ireland international for a couple of transfer windows already.

They had turned their attention away from the Middlesbrough man however and instead opted to focus on Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy, with the Scottish champions now ‘confident’ of securing a deal.

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However, if the move falls through Celtic would then renew their interest in McNair, who scored six goals and registered two assists in 41 Championship games this season.

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Boro have plenty of options in the centre of midfield in competition with McNair, and manager Neil Warnock has repeatedly said that the squad is lopsided, pointing towards the plethora of players in the centre of the pitch.

Jonny Howson, George Saville, Lewis Wing, and Marcus Tavernier can all play in a midfield three, and McNair was used in rotation with this quartet. Last season he also had Patrick Roberts and Adam Clayton to compete with, although both have since left the club.

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Middlesbrough have named their asking price for the former-Manchester United and Sunderland man, valuing the player at £5 million.

Boro paid an initial fee to Sunderland back in the summer of 2018 that was a little lower than this, however certain terms of the deal meant it could rise past £5 million.

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Stoke City are also said to be keen on McNair, although no official bids have been made as of yet.