Report: Palace make first move for Celtic target Matthew Shevlin, but have bid rejected

Crystal Palace and Celtic are both reported to be trying to sign Ballymena United striker Matthew Shevlin.

Ballymena United chairman John Taggart has told the Ballymena Times that Crystal Palace have had a bid rejected for Matthew Shevlin.

Palace have been tracking Shevlin for some time, but they face competition for the striker, as word spreads of his talent.

Celtic are also said to be tracking the prospect, in the same report, and Palace's attempts to jump ahead of the queue for the youngster's signature appear to have failed.

Taggart said: “Crystal Palace had suggested they were keen to get a deal tied up fairly quickly but their offer wasn’t really one we would entertain.

“Hopefully they will go back and have another think and come back with an improved offer - I would be disappointed if they didn’t.

“We don’t want the young lad to be held back but at the same time, we have to look after the interests of Ballymena United and try to get a deal which will give us a platform to take the club forward.

“But central to everything is that it has to be a deal that suits Matthew - we wouldn’t send him to anywhere that he didn’t want to go.”

Shevlin has already been on trial at Palace, so the London club know all about his talent and clearly were impressed by his skills on the training ground, while HITC Sport revealed last week that League One outfit Sheffield United have also had a look at him.

At Ballymena, the 16-year-old has been a revelation and is already playing for the NIFL Premiership's outfit's first-team.

Shevlin has made 10 appearances all competitions this season, and he has netted three times during that time. 

If Shevlin does leave Ballymena, he will be the second NIFL prospect to move to England in recent times, after Joe Gormley was signed by Peterborough United from Cliftonville in the summer transfer window. 

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