Report: Celtic keen on England youth international

By Euan Davidson

May 8, 2021

Celtic are keen on a 16-year-old talent who has represented both Scotland and England.

According to the Daily Mail, Celtic are amongst a host of clubs interested in centre-back Josh Feeney.

Feeney, of Fleetwood Town, has had a breakthrough season. Impressing at youth level, Feeney was called up for first-team duty under new boss Simon Grayson. He’s not made his debut in League One yet, but has trained with the squad and looks set for a bright future.

The towering defender could have been set to make his bow against Ipswich Town, in the last game of the season. However, exams begin soon, and so Feeney has had to prioritise his education for the meantime. He’s done enough at youth level, however, to have clubs like Leicester, Leeds and Aston Villa making enquiries.

Born in England, Feeney qualifies to play for Scotland, and was called up to represent the Tartan Army before the pandemic [Daily Record]. However, the Three Lions contacted the youngster in March to try to convince him to play for England. It’s a situation very reminiscent of our own Karamoko Dembele, himself eligible for either nation.

But who is registering Celtic’s interest? It’s a good question. Without a Sporting Director or Manager, you’d have to assume this is the work of Chris McCart. The former defender has been head of Celtic’s Youth Development since 2008, and may also have had a say on the signing of Liam Shaw.

Darren O’Dea may also have a key input here, in his role as U18s coach.

Celtic academy coach Darren O’Dea (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic doing battle with clubs from England

As ever, the Bhoys find themselves battling with English sides for the England/Scotland international. It’ll be fascinating to see if he develops into a top player, and if so, whether Scotland can convince him to play for his Dad’s country.

Celtic may have the financial advantage, as they wouldn’t have to pay the same rate of compensation. English clubs would have to pay more to secure Feeney, but the deep pockets of Premier League clubs probably negates that as a deciding factor. Nonetheless, it could mean the Hoops are able to offer a very decent contract to the 16-year-old starlet.

What might swing things in Celtic’s favour is Feeney’s representation. CAA Base also represent Shane Duffy and Mikey Johnston.

Also, CAA are the agent of James Maddison. Maddison, now at Leicester City, really came of age on loan at Aberdeen. While playing for the Dons, his remarkable progress turned him from a potential wonderkid to a genuine talent. Feeney’s agency may have the influence here. Maddison has shown that a promising spell in Scotland can lead to international football, albeit hopefully for Scotland in this case.

READ MORE: Kramer vs Kramer, Frost/Nixon, Rodgers/Lennon…