Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp to monitor Celtic's James Forrest

By Kenny MacIntyreBBC Scotland
Celtic winger James Forrest
Forrest has scored six goals for Celtic this season

Harry Redknapp is monitoring the form of Celtic and Scotland winger James Forrest, the Tottenham Hotspur manager has confirmed.

Redknapp's chief scout, Ian Broomfield, was in Glasgow to watch Forrest against Hibernian at the weekend and came back impressed by the 20-year-old.

"We have had good reports of what is obviously a good player," Redknapp told BBC Scotland.

"But he belongs to Celtic and that's as far as it's gone."

Redknapp stressed that he was a long way from the stage of contacting Celtic manager Neil Lennon and considering a bid for Forrest, despite newspaper speculation.

"It is like everything, you get reports on players and suddenly, because you are going to watch them, you are trying to sign them," he said.

"It is just about having reports on people, you put them on the file and you keep looking.

"We haven't gone any further. If we were to go any further, I would phone Neil and have a chat with him about the boy.

"It was just that Ian decided to have a look at him, but it was the first report on him really."

Forrest made his debut for Celtic in May 2010 and, having played at several youth levels for his country, won his first senior Scotland cap against Republic of Ireland in May.

Spurs' scout witnessed the winger first hand in a game after which Lennon picked him out as one of the few successes in a disappointing goalless draw at home to a Hibs side Celtic had hammered 4-1 in the Scottish Communities League Cup three days earlier.

"Ian says he's a talent, the kid," confirmed Redknapp.

"I haven't seen the boy play. I have seen him on TV and bits and pieces, but I would want to see him in a couple of games if I was ever going to do anything.

"I wouldn't sign anyone without seeing him myself."

However, Redknapp is hopeful that Forrest will rekindle Scotland's reputation for wing trickery.

"I remember the Jimmy Johnstones and Willie Hendersons of the world - all the great wingers that you produced up there over the years and hopefully this kid will be another young winger coming through," he added.

"Every good team in England had three or four top players in Scotland in it, but in the last few years that's changed an awful lot.

"But hopefully there's some talent coming through again. It goes in cycles and there'll be some great players coming through from Scotland again."