Football: BHOYS' Pounds 1.5m SWOOP FOR LIVI STAR; Celtic Poised to Snap-Up Fernandez.(Sport)

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Byline: JOE McHUGH

CELTIC are set to step-up their interest in David Fernandez by making a pounds 1.5m bid for the Livi star.

Martin O'Neill is a long- term admirer of the Spaniard and has earmarked him as the ideal replacement for Lubo Moravcik who retired at the end of the season.

The Celtic boss is still waiting for the board of directors to confirm what money is avaialble for new signings, but he has been given the all-clear to move in for Fernandez.

O'Neill is anxious to tie up a deal quickly with Old Firm rivals Rangers and West Ham also interested.

Fernandez started his career at Deportivo la Coruna and joined Airdrie two years ago as part of the foreign legion imported by Steve Archibald.

Airdrie's financial problems meant Livingston were able to snap him up on a free transfer

Fernandez scored seven goals last season and was shortlisted for the SPFA Player of the Year award as Livingston qualified for the UEFA Cup.

Despite that achievement, the cash crisis that has gripped Scottish football meant Livi had to free eight players last week, and manager Jim Leishman is resigned to the fact that they will have to cash in on Fernandez. …