La Liga giants Barcelona once tried to sign Celtic striker Albian Ajeti and his brother up, when the duo were teenagers, The Daily Record reports.

Ajeti is the latest transfer arrival at Celtic Park this summer, signed from West Ham United on a four-year deal.

Although he struggled in the English Premier League, the 23-year-old made quite the impact at Basel in Switzerland after emerging from their academy sides.

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However, his early career could have turned out much differently, revealing to reporters this weekend that he was once coveted by Barcelona.

He even once trained at their famed academy, La Masia.

New Celtic signing Albian Ajeti

New Celtic signing Albian Ajeti / (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

As quoted by The Daily Record, Ajeti explained: “Barcelona wanted me and my twin brother when we were 16. They were interested in signing the both of us. It wasn’t a trial but went over for a couple of days and were shown around the Barcelona academy and trained with them.

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“But in the end we decided to stay in Switzerland with the Basel academy.

“People say it’s hard to say no to Barcelona but not at that age, to be fair. When you are young you want to be with your family, with your brothers and friends, so it wasn’t that hard to say no.

 

“My brother was keen to do it but in the end we decided to keep going with what we were doing in Switzerland. It worked out well for us.”

Ajeti clearly has no regrets and rightly so.

Earning plenty of first-team football at Basel, he’s gained experience that has set up him very well and now has a massive move to the Bhoys to look forward to.

He’ll be hoping to get back on the scoring trail in Scotland after failing to net once in England.

Albian Ajeti with Basel

New Celtic signing Albian Ajeti / (Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

In Switzerland he was a stand-out player, netting 43 goals in 96 appearances, assisting 21 more (Transfermarkt).

If he can hit the ground running in Glasgow and produce that kind of output he will quickly become a hero of the passionate Celtic support.

From what I’ve seen in interviews so far, he has the kind of personality that will absolutely thrive on that adulation.

In other news, Michael Stewart has been raving about Celtic target David Turnbull live on BBC Radio Scotland.

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