Report: Celtic boss Ange keen on another Irish talent; linked with EPL move last month

By Euan Davidson

January 28, 2022

Celtic are keen on another Irish talent to add to the ranks, with Derry City’s Michael Harris on the club’s radar, according to a report.

Unlike previous acquisitions from Ireland though, Harris would only require a compensation fee set by FIFA.

The Irish Examiner state that Stoke City are vying with Celtic for Harris, who’s turned down an extension with Derry City. Harris, on the fringes of the Derry City first-team last season, was linked with a move to Crystal Palace in December. Charlton Athletic and Queens Park Rangers were also named as suitors [Pundit Arena].

Harris, born in Letterkenny, emerged with the Derry City U19s. His name first truly became known to scouts across the Irish Sea after a Enda McGuill Cup Final win. It was Harris who scored the all-important spot kick as Derry secured the win [Derry Journal].

Photo By Ben McShane/Sportsfile via Getty Images

For Celtic, Harris would assuredly not be in the first-team were he to join the club. However, Celtic have recruited smartly from Ireland at youth level in recent years. Barry Coffey is on loan in Ireland, while Ben Wylie has impressed at B Team level. Of course, Rocco Vata is an Ireland youth international, too.

Meanwhile, Johnny Kenny was signed this month from Sligo Rovers, and Liam Scales has impressed on multiple occasions since leaving Shamrock Rovers.

Michael Harris, the Irish Examiner state, could well be the next Irish teen sensation to cross the water.

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Michael Harris could be latest Irish youngster to try their luck at Celtic

Clearly, there’s a pretty well-backed cohort of Celtic scouts in Ireland. Ange Postecoglou said as much after Johnny Kenny joined the club.

With an actual B Team infrastructure, and a focus on bringing youth talent into the first-team, this is a promising time for the young Irish talents at Celtic. Harris, a striker, would be another exciting addition.

Though he’s not made a mark for at the professional level yet, Harris is a name that’s attracted attention from scouts. Two-footed, and cool under pressure, the young Irishman would be an interesting addition to the Celtic Academy set-up.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

He’s signed to Quorum Sports Advisers [Transfermarkt], who have Scotland-based Irish talents on their roster. That includes Conor McCarthy of St Mirren. Daire O’Connor, of Ayr United, is on their books, too.

Celtic already have some impressive strikers coming through the ranks, though. Adam Brooks has been on excellent form with the B Team. Owen Moffat, although predominantly a winger, has made his first-team debut. As has Joey Dawson. Johnny Kenny will be in contention once he’s got past a minor injury set-back.

Could Michael Harris be on that list? The signs suggest that Celtic want to make it happen.

Read more: Celtic boss sets training timeline for long-term injury absentee Karamoko Dembelé