Celtic are reportedly one of the clubs “leading the chase” for young Bolton starlet Luca Connell.
The highly-rated Wanderers man is available for a small compensation deal. And, if he was to move outside of England, the club buying him would only have to pay £240k.
That could allow Celtic to nip in and steal him from under other interested parties’ noses. According to the Daily Mail, Celtic are one of the clubs leading the pack. And given Celtic’s Irish connection, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Republic of Ireland man fancied a move north.
Connell can play in both defence and midfield. It’s unclear as of yet what Celtic’s plans for him would be. Whether he would go straight into the first-team, or start working with Tommy McIntyre’s reserves would be the question on many’s lips.
Connell is still inexperienced. He was called up to the Republic of Ireland training camp for the games against Denmark and Gibraltar. He also featured 12 times last season for Bolton, and started nine of those matches. The Bolton man played the majority in defensive midfield, but has also operated at left-midfield or left-back.
A move for now? Or one for the future?
Celtic don’t necessarily need immediate cover in any of those three positions. That’s what makes this smell like a deal that could be viewed by the Hoops as one for the future, should we get it over the line.
He’s also played for Ireland at under-17 and under-18 age groups. As of yet, he’s still to be given a chance in the first-team.
But his international recognition, as well as his game-time at Bolton, suggests Connell is highly-rated. Nabbing him for such a low compensation fee could prove to be a real bargain.
There are more immediate priority positions that need strengthening, but this is a deal worth doing for the Hoops. It carries next to no risk, and for all we know we could have a gem on our hands.
Connell has yet to really have a breakthrough campaign. As it stands, however, he doesn’t yet have a professional contract. Bolton failed to sign him up to one as opposed to extending his academy deal.
Now, it’s looking like a big blunder at boardroom level for the financially-stricken Championship side.