Moussa Sissako: Who is the Paris Saint-Germain defender linked with a move to Celtic?

Celtic have been linked with PSG defender Moussa Sissako - but who is he, and why is on the Hoops' radar?

Moussa Sissako shields the ball from Atletico Madrid's Luciano Vietto
Moussa Sissako shields the ball from Atletico Madrid's Luciano Vietto

Celtic boss Neil Lennon is expected to do some work on his squad this month, with the Hoops head coach targeting up to four new players. A central defender is thought to be high on the list of priorities along with one, possibly two defenders. Lennon could also bring in a midfielder if he sees fit.

Moussa Sissako is one of a number of centre-backs on the Bhoys' radar. The club have been linked with a string of central defenders since last summer with players such as Carlisle United's Jarrad Branthwaite, Azerbaijan international Bahlul Mustafazade, Edson Alvarez of Club America and Cruzeiro defender Fabricio Bruno all linked with a Parkhead switch.

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French-born Sissako, a Mali Under-23 international, has come up through the ranks at Paris Saint-Germain and first came to Celtic's attention when he lined up against them in a UEFA Youth League clash in 2017.

He notched an assist as the Parisians ran out 3-2 winners at Dumbarton's C&G Systems Stadium in September 2017. Future Parkhead loanee Timothy Weah also featured for PSG in that match and scored the decisive goal.

Sissako has featured in all five of PSG's Under-19 matches this term, registering another assist in a 5-1 win over Turkish side Galatasaray in October. He captained the side in a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Club Brugge in November and was sent off on his last appearance for two bookable offences in a 6-3 loss to Real Madrid's Under-19 side on 26 November.

Predominantly a left-sided centre-half, he is versatile enough to operate in either central defensive position in a back four, while he has been deployed on the right of a back three on two occasions, as well as the middle central defender in a back five.

Sissako is under contract with the French side until the summer of 2021, but is not thought to be in Thomas Tuchel's long-term plans at the Parc des Princes and was last year linked with Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle United. Celtic have previously dealt with the Ligue 1 side, signing striker Odsonne Edouard on loan before making the move permanent, and taking Weah on loan for a half-season last term.

The Daily Mail reports that Sissako could be allowed to leave the French capital for free, in exchange for a heft sell-on arrangement as part of any deal.

He is likely to be swayed by the offer of first-team football so Celtic's pursuit of Fabricio Bruno and the presence of current first-choice centre-half pairing Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien could influence his decision.

Meanwhile, Celtic have been boosted by the news that physio Tim Williamson has rejected Manchester United's advances to remain with the Hoops.