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Dialogue and interest- boss confirms Celtic talks over 22-year-old transfer target

Elfsborg boss Stefan Andreasson has confirmed that Celtic are interested in signing Gustaf Lagerbielke but denied that a deal is almost in place.

Late on Monday night respected Swedish newspaper Expressen revealed that a £3m offer had been made for the central defender with Carl Starfelt’s agent involved.

With the former Rubin Kazan defender expected to move to Celta Vigo it seems like Lagerbiekle is a ready made replacement causing minimum disruption with Maik Nawrocki already playing alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Elfsborg are currently in top position in the Swedish league but face a difficult time over the next three weeks as other European clubs look to sign their players.

At the age of 22 Lagerbiekle has played a key role in getting his side into top spot with his manager coy about talks with Celtic.

Andreasson told Swedish site Fotboltransfers:

We have had a dialogue in this case. There is an interest, yes. But we are not in a negotiation. Then the club must move from interest to acting powerfully and concretely. We are not there at the moment

At this time of the season there isn’t much difference between interest and dialogue and negotiations over a transfer.

With Celtic’s interest now known Elfsborg will be hoping to flush out interest from any other clubs and try to get as big a sell-on clause as possible out of the move

Having three first team ready central defenders available for selection would be a step up on the last two seasons where Ange Postecoglou was reliant on the partnership between Cameron Carter-Vickers and Starfelt, beyond that it seemed that Postecoglou lacked trust in others such as Stephen Welsh and Moritz Jenz.

Carter-Vickers recovery from knee surgery was an added complication to Celtic’s pre-season preparations but after playing against Athletic Bilbao and Ross County the former Spurs man seems to have fully recovered.

His experience will be badly needed over the next few weeks with trips to Pittodrie, Rugby Park and Ibrox before the September international break.

Lagerbiekle has been playing regularly since March so shouldn’t have any fitness issues but switching from Elfsborg to Celtic is a big step for a 22-year-old defender to take on.

Thanks to Mikael Lustig and the Larsson legacy Celtic has a good profile in Sweden which should lessen adjustment time although Ibrox on September 3 isn’t a fixture that can really be prepared for.

Last season Alistair Johnston breezed through his debut on January 2 but four months later Yuki Kobayashi and Alexandro Bernabei struggled badly to cast a shadow over their Celtic futures.

There has been no word on Kobayashi since he injured an ankle against Yokohama F Marinos while Bernabei was missing from the matchday squad against Ross County despite impressing with a goal against Athletic Bilbao.

If the deal for Lagerbiekle is completed it pushes Welsh and Liam Scales further down the pecking order opening the door for loan deals or permanent moves out the club.

Aberdeen seem keen on Scales while clubs in Germany and Italy have been linked with Welsh over the last couple of transfer windows.

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