West Brom have confirmed that Celtic have made an official approach to speak to manager Tony Mowbray.
But Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace will not allow any discussions to take place until the Scottish outfit agree to pay the compensation clause, reported to be £2million, in Mowbray’s contract.
“After two weeks of speculation, I have finally received a call from the Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell requesting permission to speak to Tony,” Peace told the Championship club’s official website.
“I made it absolutely clear that Celtic’s approach was not welcome because we have an ongoing project at Albion in which Tony is an integral part.
“Tony’s style of play is a key factor in that project and the supporters have very much bought into it, as everyone saw by the terrific reception the fans gave Tony and the players after our final home game against Liverpool.
“We inserted a compensation figure when Tony signed a new contract 16 months ago to ensure that the club would be suitably recompensed in the event of any other club seeking his services.
“Most people would regard it as a fair figure. It was inserted in the contract in good faith and is non-negotiable because we don’t want to lose our manager.
“Celtic have been made aware of the compensation figure and if they agree to pay this, only then will I speak to Tony to get his thoughts on the situation.
“Until and unless that happens, as far as we are concerned, it is business as usual as we plan for a very important season ahead of us.
“We hope this is the end of the matter as we do not need any further, unwelcome distractions for the job in hand.”
A Celtic spokesperson said: “The process of appointing our new manager is ongoing.
“The club will continue to work to ensure that it gets the right man for the job.”