Irish legend Robbie Keane has been left impressed by Celtic transfer target Luca Connell after a recent Republic of Ireland training camp, as reported by The Daily Record.
The Scottish Sun reported last week that the Hoops had opened negotiations to land the Bolton Wanderers midfielder for a training compensation fee after the cash strapped club failed to tie him down to professional contract.
Connell was recently part of Ireland’s training camp in Portugal and assistant manager Robbie Keane is in no doubt he will one day play for the country.
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As quoted by The Daily Record, the former Celtic striker said:
He’s a great lad. In Portugal, I got a ball and there’s a big goal over there and a small goal facing that goal.
I said, ‘Watch this, I’m going to hit that post and it’ll go straight into the goal and he said, ‘No chance.’
I went ‘bang’ – it hit the bar and went into the goal. Then the little f****r did it as well, straight after.
I thought, ‘He’s got a chance, this lad’. He’s a lovely boy as well.
I’m telling you right now, Luca will play for us. He loves it here. He enjoyed being here. He was buzzing in Portugal. He was playing well, enjoying it.
The teenage midfielder came to prominence in the second half of last season after getting a run of games for Bolton in the FA Cup and English Championship.
Obviously given his age and experience he wouldn’t be expected to come in and make an immediate impact at Celtic but Keane clearly reckons he has talent and having been included in Ireland’s plans he appears to already have the ability to feature on the international scene.
The Record report he would have been included in the actual squad for recent European qualifiers if not for a thigh injury.
Without a significant fee attached, this potential transfer is one which could pay off big for Celtic in years to come.