Date: 3rd December 2019 at 6:08am
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Celtic are reported to have ‘stepped up’ their interest in Jarrad Branthwaite.

According to a report in The Sun the Carlisle defender is being considered as a January transfer target despite making just six League Two appearances for Carlisle.

Branthwaite plays in central defence and has come to the attention of a number of English sides as they scour the lower divisions with scouts of some degree watching every match.

Celtic’s new Head of Football Operations Nicky Hammond demonstrated in the summer his knowledge of the English game when he brought in Jeremie Frimpong, Lee O’Connor and Jonathan Afolabi. The report claims that Hammond has personally watched Branthwaite.

At the age of 17 the defender has been thrown in at the deep end with fourth bottom Carlisle recently sacking Steven Pressley as their manager.

Kris Ajer and Chris Jullien are Neil Lennon’s first choice central defenders but with Jozo Simunovic injury prone and Jack Hendry well out of the picture there is a lack of back-up with Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed next in line.

Scotland u-19 internationalists Stephen Welsh and Robbie Deas are out on loan at Morton and Alloa Athletic.