Celtic’s apparent interest in Joel Randall has taken Exeter City boss Matt Taylor by surprise, although the Grecians coach admitted to the Sun that any bids will be considered for the highly-rated forward.
It remains to be seen whether the 21-year-old can emulate the achievements of another exciting young attacker who made his name at St James’ Park but, just like Ollie Watkins before him, Randall is taking League Two by storm in those red and white stripes.
The quicksilver forward has six goals and four assists to his name this season, catching the eye of one of Britain’s biggest clubs along the way.
The Athletic claim that Celtic, always on the lookout for exciting young talents who fit their ‘buy low, sell high’ transfer strategy, have identified Randall as a cut-price addition to Neil Lennon’s squad.
According to Exeter manager Taylor, however, Celtic are yet to make their interest known to anyone on the South Coast.
“We have had no contact from the clubs mentioned as yet and I was as surprised as anyone when I saw a big club like Celtic in the headlines,” Taylor explained.
“He’s not out of contract at the end of the season, so I can tell you that with all honesty, we have had nothing from those clubs and I am not sure where those stories have come from, whether it is agent talk, or clubs releasing bits and pieces.”
Taylor does admit, however, that Randall is likely to attract plenty of interest after a superb breakthrough season at the fourth-tier promotion hopefuls.
“I’d be surprised if he is not on a lot of big club’s lists, in terms of recruitment.
“We are always open to bids for our players, but we have a valuation for Joel that we certainly want to get towards.
“Joel has played 18 league games and as well as he has played in those games, we want him to move on when he has played 50, 60 possibly 100 games because he will be a better player for when he moves at that time.”
Randall has made most of his appearances on the right flank this season, although he has also impressed on the left and through the middle when required.
Interestingly, Celtic have struggled for creativity on the right wing, with James Forrest spending the last four months stuck on the sidelines with an ankle injury.