Report: Reported 2021 Celtic target Johnny Kenny courted by SPFL foes

By Euan Davidson

December 15, 2021

Sligo Rovers striker Johnny Kenny, linked with Celtic in September [Irish Independent], is being linked with a move to SPFL rivals Hibernian.

According to a report in the Irish Independent, Kenny was a guest at Easter Road last night, taking in the Hibees 1-0 win over Dundee.

The report states that while Celtic have had scouts over to watch Kenny, Hibs have the advantage. The young striker has a release clause of €150,000, which the manager-less club look set to trigger in the January transfer window.

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Kenny leaving Sligo Rovers at all looked to off the cards as recently as last month. At the start of November, the Irishman signed a new deal with the Connacht-based club. However, it now looks as if his contract was sewn up in order to make Sligo Rovers a bigger return on the 18-year-old.

Kenny scored 11 times in the Irish Premier Division in 2021 [Transfermarkt]. According to the report, English clubs also hold interest in the youngster.

Celtic have something of a striker crisis at the moment. Kyogo could be back soon, but Albian Ajeti and summer signing Giorgos Giakoumakis are currently out. However, Daizen Maeda looks to be on his way, while Owen Moffat, Joey Dawson and Rocco Vata are lighting it up with the B Team.

Therefore, a Celtic move at this stage doesn’t seem likely.

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Hibernian just can’t seem to stay away from the Celtic headlines this week. We face the Leith side on Sunday, who could be about to appoint a former Celt in the form of Shaun Maloney. His potential assistant is someone who, again, links Hibs and Celtic – Gary Caldwell.

So, hearing that Hibernian are interested in a reported Celtic target seems inevitable, somehow. Not that they did this on purpose, but still.

Johnny Kenny does seem like a promising talent. At just 18, his goal tally for Sligo Rovers is impressive. Especially considering Sligo’s third-place finish in this season’s Irish Premier Division. He’ll compete with some familiar names in years to come for Ireland contention, including the likes of Jonathan Afolabi and Armstrong Okoflex.

Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Celtic, of course, have already dipped into the Irish market this year. Liam Scales, in limited outings, has impressed for the Bhoys. That followed a superb campaign with Shamrock Rovers, who also have Danny Mandroiu, a player who was linked with Celtic, too.

As for this move, though? Fair play to Hibs if they’re going for it. The Irish Premier Division has some real talents at SPFL level. The likes of Shamrock and Dundalk are playing European football. And there are signs of progress in the Academy set-ups across the country.

It’s probably not one for Celtic, though. Barring, that is, a very dramatic turn of events.

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