Celtic are interested in signing Bolton Wanderers midfielder Luca Connell for a bargain price this summer, as reported by The Daily Mail.
Connell, who is still just 18 years of age, emerged as a future prospect at Bolton in the second half of last season, making 12 appearances in the English Championship and FA Cup.
However, there’s been an oversight in securing his future according to The Mail, who say he is only on an academy contract at the club rather than a professional one.
That means he can decide to walk away from his own deal and make the switch to Celtic, who are leading the chase for his signature, reckon the paper.
Compensation rules mean Bolton would only be due around £240,000 for his development, states the report.
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It certainly is and it’s hard to see where Luca Connell fits into the equation if he does complete the move north.
From Celtic’s perspective the chance to land a young, highly-rated Republic of Ireland youth international on the cheap, a player who already has a bit of Championship experience, might be too good to turn down but the chance of him getting the football he needs at the Hoops seems slim, at least initially.
With Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie all excelling last season and Olivier Ntcham providing back-up, the Hoops already have four excellent pros available before even considering players such as Nir Bitton and Ewan Henderson.
Nonetheless, if Celtic can get a bit creative with the Connell capture and sign him up to a long-term professional deal while also arranging an immediate loan out of the club for the season, you can begin to see upside for all concerned.
A return to the Championship or another team in the Scottish top-flight can allow Celtic to monitor his progress in depth and re-assess his role in the squad next summer when the midfield picture at the club could look different.
It’s a risk-free deal at the reported price, but there is no use stunting the player’s development by having him play reserve football or warming the Celtic bench and an immediate loan move could solve all those problems.