Irish youngster Gavin Bazunu set to begin Manchester City journey ahead of schedule
Rising star Gavin Bazunu is on course to start his Manchester City journey this month provided the arrangements can be worked out to ensure he still does his Leaving Cert in Dublin this summer.
The 16-year-old product of the Shamrock Rovers academy has been signed by the Premier League champions in a €500,000 deal and it was initially expected that he would stay with the Hoops until June while completing his studies at home.
However, it's highly likely that Bazunu - who sprung to prominence when promoted to the first team squad by Stephen Bradley last year - has played his last game for the Hoops.
Negotiations are advanced with a view to ensuring that he moves to England in the coming weeks and joins the City development structure although all talks are based around ensuring he continues with his Leaving Cert preparations.
Bazunu was training full-time with Rovers as part of their arrangement with the fee-paying Ashfield College in Dundrum which benefits young pros at the club.
It's believed that City have sent representatives over to Ashfield to discuss Bazunu's study commitments and work out an arrangement that will allow him to continue his exam prep by making regular trips home to Ireland ahead of sitting the tests with his classmates this summer.
City were keen to get the highly rated Ireland U-17 international over into their set-up as quickly as possible in order to accelerate his integration. But they understand the desire of the player and his family to ensure that he completes his education without disruption and all parties are working together to find the right solution.
The scale of the task ahead of Bazunu has been highlighted by the fact that City have just completed a deal to sign the top young 'keeper in America, Zack Steffen (23), from Columbus Crew. He is not due to arrive in England until the summer.
Meanwhile, Rovers sources have played down talk of any link-up between the Tallaght side and Celtic.
Reports indicated that the Scottish giants were looking to take a stake in Rovers but no such arrangement is expected to come to fruition.