Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Celtic: Parkhead starlet Rocco Vata attracting transfer interest

Scottish champions Celtic could well be facing the prospect of losing another promising academy asset, amid reports of significant interest in teenage playmaker, Rocco Vata.

What’s the word?

According to Italian outlet, Tuttomercatoweb (via Milan Live), the 17-year-old gem is believed to have caught the eye of a host of Europe’s top clubs, with the likes of Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus all said to be tracking his progress at present.

This follows a previous report from back in October which also named Premier League sides Manchester City and Arsenal as potential suitors, with the Republic of Ireland youth international having only 18 months left on his existing deal at Parkhead.

This worrying news comes amid recent claims that fellow youth stars Ewan Otoo and Bosun Lawal are also the subject of hefty interest, with the Old Firm giants having only recently seen young Scotsman, Ben Doak poached by Liverpool.

Forget Juranovic

At first-team level, the major talking point with regard to outgoings has been centred around Josip Juranovic, with the Croatian international appearing likely to depart next month after contract negotiations hit an impasse.

While the 27-year-old has been a regular fixture under manager Ange Postecoglou over the past year or so – featuring 50 times since his £2.5m arrival last summer – the loss of the right-back may not represent too great a blow, with the Hoops having already moved to secure Canadian international Alistair Johnston as a suitable replacement.

With academy graduate Anthony Ralston also currently thriving at full-back, with three assists to his name this season, the loss of Juranovic can seemingly be accommodated for should he move on in the New Year.

In the case of Vata, however, there will be undoubted fears at losing such a promising talent who is only just beginning to take his first steps at senior level, with the teenager having made his debut off the bench in the recent win over Hibernian.

The “impressive” talent – as lauded by youth coach Darren O’Dea – had been part of the club’s recent trip to Sydney during the World Cup break, after also earning a place in the travelling party for the pre-season trip to Austria.

1 of 10

How many players did Celtic sign in January 2022?

That involvement in the first-team squad is an indication of just how highly thought of the 5 foot 9 gem is at Paradise, having also been described as a figure who could well go right “to the top” in the game, according to O’Dea.

Such quality has been evident in the youth ranks in recent times with Vata – whose father, Rudi, previously played for the Bhoys – having scored ten goals in 23 games in all competitions this term, including eight goals in just 14 Lowland League games for the club’s ‘B’ team.

Hopefully, he can go on to build on his recent senior bow and establish himself in the side over the coming months, although the concern will be that one of those multiple interested parties looks to pounce sooner rather than later.

While cashing in on Juranovic may be an astute move, Celtic must do all they can to avoid losing Vata.