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Negotiations progressed- Celtic defender nears exit

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Talks between Celtic and Leeds United over the transfer of Leo Hjelde are reported to have progressed.

The young Norwegian made a dozen appearances for Ross County last season but hasn’t featured in Celtic’s competitive matches this season.

When Nir Bitton was sent off against Midtjylland Ange Postecoglou turned to Dane Murray to play alongside Stephen Welsh in defence.

Hjelde was demoted to the Celtic B team that played against Berwick Rangers and Bo’ness United but was missing from the side that beat Annan Athletic tonight in the SPFL Trust Cup.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reports:

Left-footed Hjelde, who turns 18 later this month, would fill the void left by Oliver Casey who moved permanently to Blackpool from Elland Road this summer. The Yorkshire Evening Post reported Leeds’ interest in the son of former Nottingham Forest defender Jon Olav back in June and negotiations between the two clubs have finally progressed after weeks of stalemate, allowing the Whites to move closer to a deal.

Hjelde, who was involved in a number of first team pre-season friendlies, has found himself playing in the Celtic B team now that the season is underway north of the border, captaining the side for their last two Scottish Lowland Football League games. The side are due to play tonight against Annan Athletic in the SPFL Trust Trophy.

Celtic will be able to negotiate a deal with Leeds knowing that they would be due a Development Fee if he moves next summer at the end of his contract.

Losing a highly rated teenager will be a blow in the medium term but Shamrock Rovers defender Liam Scales who plays in a similar position has been strongly linked with a move to Celtic.

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