For the third time in this transfer window, it appears that Celtic have missed out on the signing of an exciting young talent.
Parkhead has become something of a finishing school for promising starlets in recent years with the likes of Fraser Forster, Virgil Van Dijk, Victor Wanyama and co all passing through on their journey to the big time.
And since Brendan Rodgers, the manager who launched the career of Raheem Sterling, Scott Sinclair and Joe Allen amongst others, arrived at Celtic in the summer of 2016, even more sprightly youngsters have made the move to Scotland. Moussa Dembele has been the best of the lot while Odsonne Edouard, Olivier Ntcham, Kundai Benyu and Kouassi Eboue could play huge roles in Celtic’s future.
So it is something of a surprise to learn that another fresh-faced hopeful has slipped through Celtic’s grasp. The Scottish Sun state that Brighton have won the race to sign Hearts’ 16-year-old midfielder Marc Leonard – a player Celtic had been watching closely.
This comes shortly after TEAMtalk claimed Preston North End beat The Hoops to the signature of Hartlepool United’s 17-year-old targetman Connor Simpson, a towering, North Eastern born striker inevitably likened to Andy Carroll.
And then there is Jack Hendry, the Dundee centre-back who Brendan Rodgers himself described as outstanding, per the Scottish Sun. Dundee manager Neil McCann told The Courier, however, that the 22-year-old wouldn’t be going anywhere and, since then, speculation has disappeared.
Celtic have been the masters of scouring the market for under-the-radar talent and unpolished gems in recent times but, right now, it appears they are losing more transfer battles than they are winning.