The 23-year-old has been told he can leave Bundesliga side Schalke and is eager to move to Scotland, as long as the Parkhead side can meet "concrete pre-arranged conditions". Gerrit Gertung, the player's agent, yesterday confirmed Celtic had made a fresh approach and have moved ahead of other clubs in the race to sign the former Sevilla forward.
"The offer has been rejected by Schalke, but there is still time until the end of the window, so that is not an issue," he said. "There are concrete pre-arranged conditions that have to be met, then to my knowledge Pukki should leave Schalke. There have been other enquiries made, but none in the form that can be considered actual bids. They are not enough that would influence the parties involved."
Even if a deal is completed over the next couple of days, Pukki would not be eligible for the Champions League play-off tie second leg with Shakhter Karagandy but Scott Brown believes Celtic can fight their way back from a two-goal deficit regardless. Several first-team players missed Saturday's 2-2 draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle due to injury, with Lennon admitting some, including Anthony Stokes, will struggle to return in time to face the Kazakhstani champions.
Brown, though, remains optimistic ahead of "the biggest game of the season". "Everyone slaughtered us [after the first leg in Kazakhstan] but look at the chances we had, plus we had 60% possession," said the Celtic captain. "We just need a few goals at home and I do believe we can do it. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks, what matters is what happens in that dressing room.
"Shakhter defended for their lives. They knew we were a lot better on the ball than they were. We showed that but we just couldn't get the last touch to score the goal or the last tackle to prevent one. But 2-0? We definitely can bring that back. This is the biggest game of the season. Whatever happens we're in the Europa League but we want to be in with the big guns. We showed last season we could do it and we want to show it again."
Brown admitted patience could be key on the night. "It's going to take three goals and we're going to have to start high up the park and put them under pressure, make them make mistakes. Look at the end of the first half on Saturday and the pressure we put on Inverness. They didn't get out of their own penalty box, let alone their own half, for the last five or 10 minutes. It shows that we can do that. We just need everybody to focus and do their jobs properly."
Even with the Green Brigade permitted to remain in Section 111, Celtic Park was relatively quiet on Saturday as Inverness raced into a two-goal lead before being pegged back. Brown, though, expects a more raucous atmosphere on Wednesday to be influential. "When it's full is incredible," he said. "As soon as we're walking out they are going to see 60,000 fans standing up singing "You'll Never Walk Alone". That'll put shivers down their spines because I know it did when I used to come here with Hibs."