Brad Walker may wish he'd taken Celtic chance despite Championship links

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates winning the Scottish Cup Final with the trophy

Wolves and Wigan Athletic are fighting it out for Brad Walker following Hartlepool United's relegation - but Celtic move may have passed him by.

Blyth Spartans' Nathan Buddle in action with Hartlepool United's Brad WalkerHartlepool United's Brad Walker

Hartlepool United starlet Brad Walker was turning heads as far back as January 2014. Then aged just 17, the Billingham-born midfielder appeared to have the world at his feet.

Pools boss Colin Cooper described him as one of best players he had ever witnessed at such a tender age while he was also starting to make his presence felt in the England youth squads. Consequently, the Daily Mail reported that Scottish giants Celtic felt Walker had the potential to star in front of 60,000 at Parkhead.

Though Premier League pair Norwich City and Stoke were also keen to lure him to the top flight.

Brad Walker (L) celebrates with team mates after scoring the second goal for Hartlepool United

Therefore, few expected that Walker would remain a Hartlepool player three years on. However, after being relegated from the Football League for the first time in the club’s history, the time is right for the now-21-year-old to finally bid farewell.

Walker will be available on a free transfer this summer and Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he had a brief trial in 2015, are battling with Wigan Athletic for his signature, the Hartlepool Mail reports.

Leyton Orient's Josh Koroma and Hartlepool's Brad Walker clash

However, it appears that the chance to make a move to the illustrious Celtic may have passed Walker by for now. Falling out of favour under former Pool bosses Ronnie Moore and Craig Hignett, Walker’s development has stuttered in recent seasons, meaning he is yet to live up to the potential that first piqued Celtic’s interest.

In fact, you could hardly forgive the locally-born midfielder for wishing he had pulled on that famous green and white shirt when he had the chance, particularly now Brendan Rodgers, a manager renowned for his ability to develop young talents, is at the helm.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates winning the Scottish Cup Final with the trophyA number of Celtic players have taken their games to a new level under Brendan Rodgers

If Walker had signed for Celtic three years ago, who knows where he'd be now? Certainly not at the bottom of League Two, that's for sure.

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