Hapoel Be’er Sheva have emerged as contenders to sign Celtic star Nir Bitton this summer.
The Scottish Sun report that the Israeli side are keen on following up a January move for Hatem Abd Elhamed with a deal for the versatile midfielder.
It follows a report from the same outlet in February that Maccabi Tel Aviv were also considering a summer offer for the 29-year-old.
Bitton is one of the longest-serving Celtic players in the current squad, signing up during Neil Lennon’s first spell in charge as manager.
Eight years have gone by and Bitton has experienced plenty of highs and lows.
Currently, he’s on the fringes of the first-team under interim boss John Kennedy and it’s unclear how he would fit into a new manager’s plans.
With two years remaining on his current contract, Celtic could command a decent fee for the player. He certainly won’t be heading back to Israel on the cheap, unless the club actively wants him off the wage bill.
Hapoel Be’er Sheva are major players in his homeland and a reunion with international teammate Elhamed would no doubt appeal to the proud Israeli.
Nir Bitton Celtic exit probably best for all involved
Personally, I think it’s the right time for a Celtic exit. I don’t mind him at all. In fact I think he’s a very useful squad option.
However, we do need specialists in every position and I’m just not sure what Bitton offers the Bhoys beyond injury cover.
His role as a midfielder seems long behind him and we can’t rely on him at centre-half either if we want to make real progress under Eddie Howe or another new manager.
The Celtic squad overhaul is already well underway, with the club already shipping out failed Lennon signing Patryk Klimala to New York Red Bulls.