Celtic manager Neil Lennon has admitted interest in Sheffield United target Paddy McNair.

The Sun revealed that the Blades were interested in signing the versatile Middlesbrough ace. It’s reported McNair would be allowed to leave the Riverside if Boro recoup the £5m they paid Sunderland for him last summer.

United are looking to strengthen their squad following promotion to the Premier League and the 24-year-old could fill a number of roles. McNair has the ability to play at centre-back, in central midfield, or even at wing-back if required.

However, it seems the Hoops could offer firm opposition. When asked about McNair, Lennon told the Scottish Sun: “There’s an interest there, yeah.”

Why do Sheffield United want Paddy McNair?

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Acquiring a new central defender or midfielder was not among manager Chris Wilder’s priorities after the Blades first confirmed their return to the top flight.

Yet the Sheffield Star now reports Wilder is particularly keen to sign some defensive cover. That’s because he does not want to have to change his tactics due to injury or suspension.

United play a 3-4-1-2 formation so three centre-backs are needed at any one time. It’s likely that Chris Basham, John Egan and Jack O’Connell will continue as the first choice selection.

Beyond that, though, Richard Stearman and Kean Bryan provide the only cover following the release of Martin Cranie. Enda Stevens did fill in at times last season, but the 28-year-old will be needed on the left flank.

McNair could easily slot in if required and his price-tag fits within Wilder’s budget. Not only that, but the Northern Ireland international can also play in midfield.

This would prove useful too with Paul Coutts having departed Bramall Lane as well. This has left Wilder with Oliver Norwood, John Fleck and John Lundstram as the only options in the middle.

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