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Celtic linked with move for SPFL defender

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Celtic are among five clubs interested in Kerr Smith with Dundee United expected to sell the defender before the transfer window closes.

Leeds United are also linked with the defender with the Yorkshire club also expected to sign Leo Hjelde before the transfer window closes.

Smith made five SPFL appearances last season for United but so far under Tam Courts he has been restricted to a couple of appearances in the Premier Sports Cup.

The Sun reports:

DUNDEE UNITED are set to cash in on teenage star Kerr Smith before the window closes.

SunSport understands Southampton are leading the chase for the 16-year-old, while Crystal Palace, Leeds, Leicester and Celtic are all monitoring the situation.

Saints have made two recent bids which have been rejected by the Tannadice board, but it’s still likely they will move the young centre half on by the end of the month.

Smith made his debut under Micky Mellon last season and is regarded as one of Scottish football’s top young talents. The defender has played twice for United’s top team this season in the Premier Sports Cup group stage.

He featured in victories over Elgin City and East Fife but has not been included in their first three Premiership match squads.

If Celtic signed Smith the best that they could currently offer him would be a place in the B team playing in the Lowland League or a loan deal.

Recruitment at the club covers all levels but with no Reserve League over the last decade there is a massive gap for the club to fill between Academy and first team.

The Lowland League provides regular fixtures and a decent standard of opponent but it remains a massive jump to go from playing Bonnyrigg Rose and Dalbeatie Star to facing Hearts and St Mirren in front of 60,000 fans.

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