ODSONNE EDOUARD is a £30million target for Aston Villa, according to reports across the border.
The Celtic talisman kicked off the Premiership campaign with a hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Hamilton Accies on Flag Day at Parkhead as the champions embarked upon their quest for a historic tenth successive title.
The Hoops hierarchy are bracing themselves for record bis for the 22-year-old French ace who still has two years to run on his current contract.
Edouard is seen as a pivotal figure in what manager Neil Lennon has termed a “monumental season” and the champions are in no rush to part with the player who cost them an all-time high fee of £9million from Paris Saint-Germain in June 2018.
He hit 28 goals last term and has insisted he is perfectly happy at Parkhead.
Villa, though, are hoping to tempt Celtic into parting with their hottest property – just as they did last summer when fans’ favourite Kieran Tierney left for Arsenal in a £25million switch.
Boss Lennon, who paid £5million last week to bring in Swiss international forward Albian Ajeti from West Ham last week, concedes it is ‘inevitable’ English clubs will be casting envious glances at his highly-talented hitman until the transfer window closes on October 5.
The Celtic chief has already admitted: “We can’t help that. It’s inevitable, but we’ll try to stave off any admirers.
“I’m sure there are plenty out there, but we love having him here and I’m sure he’s enjoying it.
“He had a magnificent season this year and we want to keep him. It’s as simple as that.
“We’re doing everything we can to keep him here for at least another season, anyway.”
Edouard drew a blank in the Hoops’ 1-0 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice yesterday where new Bhoy Ajeti netted the winner on his league debut seven minutes from the end – only moments after coming on as a substitute for Olivier Ntcham.