Celtic sign promising young star Luca Connell

The 18-year-old offers options to Celtic boss Neil Lennon in defence and midfield.

Celtic have signed 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.

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

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

Connell 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.”