According to The Daily Mail, Celtic are one of the sides interested in signing Aston Villa starlet Aaron Ramsey.
The England U17 international’s contract is coming to an end this summer, and that has alerted sides like Celtic and Ajax over his potential availability.
The report claims that Villa are keen to offer Ramsey fresh terms to put pen to paper on a new contract with the Premier League club, and that they remain “hopeful” that he will extend his stay.
However, it’s suggested Celtic and Ajax’s interest is complicating matters, and that the duo are “almost certain to make offers” for the teenage sensation.
With reports in recent weeks claiming that Ryan Christie is attracting transfer interest south of the border from the likes of Arsenal, Celtic will need to be on the look-out for a potential long-term replacement for the Scotland international.
And in Ramsey, the Hoops could get exactly the man to fill his boots in the long-run. Villa boss Dean Smith described Aaron, and his older brother Jacob who has been getting some first-team exposure this season, as “talented players who we believe have a lot of potential”.
Given Celtic’s struggles this season, a rebuild both in terms of the playing squad and its mentality will be important, and according to England’s U17s coach Kevin Betsy, one of Ramsey’s strong points is his leadership qualities.
He said: “Aaron deserved the armband because of his performances for his club and his character around the place. We try to develop leaders across our pathway… but you can’t just talk about it and say ‘be a leader’. We have to give them the opportunity to do it and feel it on the grass. Aaron was given that opportunity.”
Capable of playing in central midfield and further forward – this season for Villa’s academy sides, he’s notched two goals in six games from the number ten role – Ramsey could develop into the kind of goal threat that Christie has proven himself to be in recent seasons.
Landing a top academy talent from a Premier League side would be a major coup on the part of Nick Hammond, and could gift Celtic a real gem for the future. But with Ajax in the frame, the Bhoys’ head of football operations simply has to strike now to ensure they get the deal done ahead of the competition.