Celtic’s biggest individual shareholder Dermot Desmond is set to make a significant multi-million pound investment in Shamrock Rovers, The Scottish Sun report.

If proposals are passed at a general meeting over the next few weeks, Desmond will become a 25% shareholder in the Irish club, say the paper, which will cost him around £2.7m.

The report states that if the deal goes through it could lead to closer ties between Rovers and Celtic.

A statement from the club read: “His sole motivation in considering this investment is to advance the cause of Shamrock Rovers.

“Mr Desmond is especially interested in supporting Shamrock Rovers’ ambitious plans to further develop the club’s academy and building on the very strong foundations laid by the club in recent years.

“Mr Desmond sees any involvement with Shamrock Rovers as being more akin to a trustee than a shareholder.”

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

What does it mean for Celtic?

Going by Rovers’ statement, it appears that Desmond is keen on investing in young talent coming through the Dublin club, which is certainly intriguing from our point of view.

Over the last 12 months there’s been a definite increase in Irish personnel and players at the Hoops. Damien Duff is an integral part of the coaching staff while Darren O’Dea is now U18s manager.

With Jonathan Afolabi, Armstrong Oko-Flex, Lee O’Connor, Barry Coffey and Luca Connell all representing the Republic of Ireland at youth international level in the past, are we beginning to see a clear strategy emerging?

Obviously there’s a long history of Irish players at the club, but as part of the current academy and recruitment cycle it is interesting we have so many exciting Irish prospects on the books..

Although this is clearly a personal investment, perhaps Desmond sees the move as a way for the Hoops to get a foothold in Irish player development, benefiting both Rovers and the Scottish champions.

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