Celtic are planning to make a summer move for FC Rostov forward Sardar Azmoun as they eye alternatives to Moussa Dembele, according to the Scottish Sun.
The newspaper claims that the Scottish treble winners fear that Dembele could be on his way out of the club with Serie A giants AC Milan favourites to land the forward.
It is reported that Celtic are not keen on sanctioning a deal to sell the 20-year-old striker with the Champions League qualifiers on the horizon but they are still considering possible replacements.
The Scottish Sun report that manager Brendan Rodgers believes that Iran striker Azmoun, 22, is the perfect man to replace Dembele next season and provide the goals that were so key to Celtic’s stunning treble.
This is not the first time the Celtic boss has shown interest in the Iran international as Rodgers reportedly scouted Azmoun during his time at Liverpool, who were snubbed when they made a move to sign the prolific forward in January as the striker wanted guaranteed first-team football.
It is said that Azmoun is also attracting interest from a number of clubs including Premier League side Everton, La Liga club Villarreal and Serie A side Lazio.
The British newspaper also claims that there should not be any issues concerning a work permit as Azmoun is a regular with the Iran national team.
Azmoun has enjoyed an impressive season with Russia side FC Rostov, scoring a total of 12 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions.
The Iranian also made his mark on the Champions League stage as he scored against Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in Rostov’s 3-2 victory over the German side.
The forward also found himself on the scoresheet in the Champions League group stage match against La Liga side Atletico Madrid.
Azmoun’s contract runs out in June 2018 which means that Celtic will not have to splash the cash to secure the Iranian’s signature.