NEIL LENNON is being invited to weigh up making a move for another Nigerian defender – with TWO on the radar of the Hoops' boss.
Juwon Oshinawa – who only moved to Israeli club FC Ashdod on a four-year deal in September – is currently the first-choice left-back for the Super Eagles.
He is vying for a starting place at the African Cup of Nations with Uwa Echiejile, who first came to Lennon's attention when he scored for Braga against the Hoops in the 3-0 Champions League defeat in Portugal in 2010. The attack-minded Echiejile is now 24, valued at around £2.5million and out of contract next year.
Rami Gershon is already in Glasgow with his agent, Dudu Dahan – who also represents Oshinawa – to try to finalise his loan move from Standard Liege.
The Israeli international defender can play central defence or left-back, but Lennon is continuing his search for other players who could bolster his backline.
Talent-spotter-in-chief, John Park, has been charged with finding potential targets who can operate on the left side of the team, and Nigerian internationals Oshinawa and Echiejile both fit the bill.
Along with the Hoops' Efe Ambrose, they have reported for duty at Nigeria's training camp in Portugal, where the Super Eagles are finalising their preparation for the African Cup of Nations.
The squad will be reduced to 23 tomorrow before they play Cape Verde in the Algarve on Wednesday. Ambrose, Oshinawa and Echienjile are all expected to be taken to the tournament in South Africa.
Lennon could make a detour to take in that game before heading to Marbella where his squad will be based for a week of warm-weather work.
Gershon hopes he can be with them after undergoing a series of medical examinations and contract talks in Glasgow over the weekend.
However, the 24-year-old is short of match practise after only recently returning to action after a long injury lay-off.
With Kelvin Wilson suspended for the SPL game against Hearts on January 19 plus the League Cup semi-final against St Mirren the following weekend, and Ambrose not expected back from South Africa until the end of the month at the earliest, Charlie Mulgrew and Thomas Rogne are favourites to be the first-choice pairing when the team returns from their mid-season break.
Victor Wanyama could also come into contention for a step back from midfield, and Lennon will hope there are no offers for the 21-year-old Kenyan before the window closes in three weeks.
He has yet to sign the contract extension proposed by Celtic, and reports at the weekend claimed top clubs in the Premiership had been invited to make their interest in him known.
But, as he is under contract for another three years, and a key figure in Lennon's team, it is not the Parkhead club who are trying to smoke out offers for Wanyama.
He is enjoying a short visit to his family back in Kenya, and is refusing to discuss speculation over his future.
Wanyama told journalists in his homeland: "Right now I am focusing on my game and I have left everything to Celtic and my agent. I know I will be anywhere where God wants me to be, as long as I play football."