Manny Perez's Celtic move was two years in the making

By Connor Gordon

February 16, 2019

New Celtic signing Manny Perez has revealed it took two years of communication to sign with the club.

The American right-back is out on loan in his homeland before rejoining in the summer.

With only one other right-back in contract by that time, Perez’s opportunity could be realised.

Perez thankful for Celtic opportunity

The 19-year-old fullback is currently on-loan in the United Soccer League with hometown side North Carolina FC.

Perez says the Hoops were aware of him following his successful stint in the USA under-18 squad.

Speaking to American Soccer Now, the defender said: “There was a lot to think about and I am thankful for the opportunity Celtic has given me – as well as my hometown club, North Carolina FC to given a chance to develop with them.

New Bhoy is hoping for development with North Carolina FC. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

“But overall, I think it was the right move. It’s a great move to develop young players and play young players.

The player clearly is fired up and ready to go in Glasgow when his time finally arrives.

Celtic loanee reveals contact approach

Since Brendan Rodgers’ arrival two years ago, the Hoops have been on Perez’s radar.

Perez said: “Two summers ago that is when Celtic first reached out to me. They saw me in Spain. I did really well and we just kept in communication.”

Brendan Rodgers has been in contact with player for two years. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Perez and fellow countryman Andrew Gutman collectively signed three-and-a-half year deals with the Parkhead club in January.

In his loan to North Carolina, the right-back will get his first taste of professional football before going back to Scotland.

He will play under the guidance of former national head coach Dave Sarachan for the time being.

Talking about what he’ll get from the loan, Perez said: “They’re going to develop as much as I can be so that when I move to Celtic, I am comfortable and I can have some experience at the pro level.”

American will fight Tony Ralston in January for right-back post. (Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

When the defender eventually does go to Glasgow, only Tony Ralston will be contracted to the club as it stands.

This means the Hoops will have two young players challenging for that position which is great to see.

However, as the Bhoys already failed in a massive bid for Timothy Castagne, there could be more to the story come the summer.

The American will just need to bide his time and hope that his development at North Carolina pays off.