Celtic tried to sign promising youth international Conor Coventry prior to his commitment at West Ham United over the weekend, website Football Insider report.
Coventry put pen to paper on a new three-year deal at the Hammers, which was announced by the Premier League club on Saturday.
The midfielder’s previous contract had been due to expire at the end of this season, apparently prompting Celtic to try and land something of a bargain.
Football Insider say that a permanent contract was offered to the 19-year-old for him to make a switch to Scotland this summer.
He wouldn’t be the first teenage youth international to be signed by the club from English in recent months, with the club adding players like Jeremie Frimpong, Lee O’Connor and Jonathan Afolabi to Neil Lennon’s squad.
What’s his profile?
Coventry looks to be quite a talent and will already be familiar with O’Connor considering his regular involvement with the Republic of Ireland U21s side. The West Ham man has played 11 of the last 12 U21 matches for his country (Transfermarkt).
He also appears to be valued in London, having already made two appearances for the Hammers’ first-team, both of which came in the League Cup. The combative midfielder has played almost 50 times for their U23 side (Transfermarkt).
What’s been said about his ability?
West Ham Academy Manager certainly seemed delighted to see Coventry pledge his future at the London Stadium, telling the club’s official website: “I’m absolutely delighted, and I think everyone at the Academy will be really pleased for Conor. It’s something that he fully deserves.
“He’s a fantastic young player, but also a great person who takes his career very seriously and leads by example on and off the pitch. That’s testament to him, to his professionalism, to his commitment and his dedication.
“When you have a young player who has those ingredients, and who is really focused and determined to develop himself, there’s nothing more pleasing to reward that than with a three-and-a-half-year contract.”
Further evidence of Hammond’s strategy?
Sadly it seems we’ve missed out in this case, but as mentioned, Celtic haven’t been shy in trying to recruit from English sides of late and it appears to be one of Head of Football Operations Nick Hammond’s big strategies.
I have no problem with that continuing. We seem to be taking a view of the market down south as one worth exploring if the financials of the deal makes sense and there’s a long-term upside.
There’s obviously no use attempting to sign established talents from the Premier League or Championship considering some of the money splashing about, but if we can pick up a few promising young talents every year, it makes sense and it could pay off big in the future.
The progression of Frimpong shows that some of these young players can make immediate impacts.