Speculation has been ramping up over the future of Jozo Simunovic.

The Celtic centre-back has been reportedly interesting French outfit Lille (Scottish Sun). Their manager has even come out and praised the Bosnian too (Scottish Sun). He’s made a fine start to the campaign with Celtic, and remains very much in Neil Lennon’s first-team plans for now.

But the latest rumour that has been flying around smacks of absolute nonsense. Football Insider have claimed that Simunovic has accepted and agreed personal terms with Lille. He’s apparently set to earn £10k-per-year with his new club, and the deal should be pretty inevitable.

Jozo Simunovic is still an important part of the cause (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Or at least, that would be the case if it were true. If Lille have agreed a deal with Simunovic, then isn’t that called tapping up? Celtic haven’t as of yet accepted a bid for the centre-back. Lennon certainly hasn’t said anything on it, and no major media outlets have reported a deal.

Lille continue to simply be a potential suitor. Celtic haven’t been reported to have allowed Lille to speak with Simunovic. And, as well as that, you can guarantee that they wouldn’t want them too either.

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Simunovic unlikely to have been tapped up

Sure, it can happen. Tapping up isn’t actually an illegal move in football. It doesn’t fall foul of Fifa’s rulebook, but it’s incredibly bad practice, and we have no reason to believe it’s happened here.

Simunovic is a heavy fans’ favourite in Glasgow (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Even if they tried to speak to Simunovic, Celtic still have to accept a deal from the Ligue 1 side. Good luck with that considering Simunovic’s importance to the side at the moment.

He’s still featuring regularly for Celtic, and seems to be enjoying life at Parkhead. It wouldn’t be like him to accept being tapped up or to jump at a move elsewhere. From a Celtic perspective, it would be disastrous in truth.

Celtic need Simunovic for the time being (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)

Football Insider claimed a deal hasn’t been agreed between Celtic and Lille, but that a deal is likely to be finalised. Lennon certainly hasn’t come across as if that’s the case. He’s not once told a single journalist that a deal is close. So goodness knows where this idea of a deal being near to completion is coming from.

Has Simunovic been tapped up? Unlikely. Will Lille agree a fee with Celtic for his services? Even more unlikely. Simunovic remains a valuable piece of the jigsaw at Parkhead. His departure would, essentially, be a disaster, and that’s not what the club needs right now. That’s why you can expect him to stay exactly where he is for now.

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