Sunday 18 August 2019

WATCH: 'It is unbelievable to sign for such a massive club' - Ireland's Luca Connell signs four-year Celtic deal

Ireland U19 international Luca Connell after signing four-year deal with Celtic. Photo Credit: @CelticFC Twitter
Ireland U19 international Luca Connell after signing four-year deal with Celtic. Photo Credit: @CelticFC Twitter
TEEN SENSATION: Luca Connell has promised Mick McCarthy that he wants to play for Ireland. Pic: Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Celtic have signed Irish utility player Luca Connell from Bolton on a four-year deal.

The 18-year-old, who has represented the Republic of Ireland at under-age levels up to the under-19s, can play either in defence or midfield. Senior boss Mick McCarthy had called the player up for the recent Euro qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar only for Connell to pick up an injury in training and miss the games.  

He was at FAI HQ this week as part of a three-day training camp ahead of next month's U-19 Championships in Armenia.

Connell came through the youth ranks at Bolton and broke into their first team in the second half of last season.

He told his new club's official website: "It is unbelievable to sign for such a massive club, known all around the world."

The young player was born in Liverpool but qualifies to play for Ireland through his grandparents.

He will now link up with his new team-mates on their pre-season tour of Austria.

"It's crazy. It hasn't sunk in yet that I'm signing for such a big club and with this much history, hopefully I can crack on and help us make more," he added.

"I'm confident and I feel I can talk to anyone, it's in the Scouse nature to be outgoing. I'm looking forward to all the league games and especially the Champions League."

A spokesperson for Bolton's joint administrator said the club had sought legal advice over the move, but that a "discrepancy" in the transfer rules between England and Scotland meant there was nothing they could do to prevent it.

"We took legal advice once Luca submitted his notice of termination," the Wanderers statement read.

"However, the discrepancy in the regulations between England and Scotland meant we had no option but to accept the situation.

"To their credit, Celtic recognised that and have agreed to pay substantially more than the financial obligations in Luca's contract."

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