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Celtic targeting deal for 16-goal striker

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Celtic are considering a move to sign striker Britt Assombalonga from Championship side Middlesbrough, Football Insider have reported.

The Scottish champions are reportedly keen to add a new attacking option to lift some of the pressure on last season’s top scorer Odsonne Edouard, and Assombalonga is said to be high on the wanted list of manager Neil Lennon.

Assomablonga has scored 31 goals in 93 appearances – 16 in all competitions last season – for ‘Boro since joining from Championship rivals Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2017, for a fee reported to be in the region of £15million.

The striker has two years remaining on his contract at the Riverside Stadium, but it is thought that ‘Boro could be forced to sell the 26-year-old in order to raise funds.

If ‘Boro were to lose Assombalonga, that could leave the club short on attacking options, with the future of two of the club’s other strikers – Rudy Gestede and Martin Braithwaite – coming under scrutiny in the current transfer window.

It was previously reported by the Northern Echo that newly promoted Sheffield United, along with ‘Boro’s Championship rivals Blackburn, Birmingham and Bristol City, are all interested in signing the attacker.

The Verdict

This will be a worry for Middlesbrough.

The Championship side struggled for goals for some time now, and given Assombalonga scored almost a thrid of the club’s goals last season, that problem would only serve to intensify were they to lose him to Celtic or any other club.

You do feel that Assombalonga would have the ability to make an impact in Scotland given his goalscoring record with both ‘Boro and Forest, and the chance to compete for silverware and in the Champions League could be tempting for the striker.

Even so, having paid £15million for his services, you would expect that ‘Boro fans will be confident that their will not be letting him go cheaply, or without much of a fight.

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