CELTIC will need to stump up £1.5 million to land Nadir Ciftci from Dundee United.
The Hoops have already had two bids of £900,000 and £1 million for the Tangerines striker knocked back.
But Ronny Deila remains determined to get his man and an improved third bid was last night in the offing.
In order for United to seriously consider it, however, Celtic will have to top the near £1.5 million offered by Wigan last week.
That was accepted by the Tangerines, but negotiations between the League One club and Ciftci’s agent, former Celt Pierre van Hooijdonk, quickly broke down.
Van Hooijdonk has since gone public on his client’s desire to join former United teammates Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong at Celtic.
And given Ciftci’s contractual and disciplinary status, United would find it difficult to turn down a healthy seven-figure offer.
The Tangerines star has just one year to go on his current deal and is free to sign a pre-contract agreement from December 1.
In addition, the striker has been called to answer a charge of biting Jim McAlister in the final Dundee derby of last season, and, if found guilty at the July 20 hearing, he faces a significant ban.
Ronny Deila was quizzed last night about the possibility of a fresh Celtic bid for the striker, but he chose to remain circumspect.
“I can’t comment on any one case before we have anything done,” he said.
“We have different players that we like and we will see what’s available in the end.”