BRISTOL City are ready to pay Oxford United's asking price for Rob Atkinson amid potential competition from Celtic, according to reports.

The Sky Bet Championship side are thought to be willing to spend £1.6million to bring in the U's centre back, says The Sun on Sunday.

But the newspaper also claims Celtic are interested in the 22-year-old, with the Scottish giants in danger of losing defender Kristoffer Ajer.

Atkinson is thought to be one of City's top transfer targets after an impressive breakthrough campaign.

The defender scored twice in 44 appearances and was named in the Sky Bet League One team of the season.

With two years left on Atkinson's contract, United are under no pressure to sell and reportedly value him at more than the £2million QPR are believed to have paid for Rob Dickie last summer.

City are thought to be reluctant to pay that much, but manager Nigel Pearson has been given money to improve a squad that finished 19th in the Championship last season.