NEIL LENNON has been handed a boost in his pursuit of Shane Duffy, with reports this morning stating that Celtic face a straight fight with West Ham for his signature.

The 28-year-old looks set to depart Brighton this summer and he has been heavily linked with a move to his boyhood heroes at Parkhead.

Celtic are hoping to bring Duffy in via a £2million loan deal, but they face stiff competition in the way of West Ham who are reportedly looking to land him on a permanent deal.

The Daily Record report that the Hammers are hoping to agree a deal in the region of £5million.

We told earlier this week how Celtic are the bookies favourite to land Duffy this summer.

But Lennon has refused to address the speculation and when quizzed about the Irishman, he said: "Look guys I keep repeating myself.

"I'm not going to talk about players until they are in the building.

"You get rumour here, sepculation there about player going, players coming in.

"I'm not prepared to comment on any other player who is affiliated with another club until they are sat next to me."