CELTIC are still attempting to push ahead with a new deal for Daniel Kelly whose current contract expires on the last day of 2024.

The 18-year-old midfielder, who made his debut in the 5-0 Scottish Cup win over Buckie Thistle at Parkhead on January 21, will be free to walk in the new year.

Kelly, who made eight first-team appearances and claimed his first goal in the 7-1 rout of Dundee the following month, has resisted signing an extension.

Reports have emerged in a media outlet that Bundesliga title winners Bayer Leverkusen are monitoring the Scotland Under-19 international’s position at Brendan Rodgers’ side.

TWO v ONE…Daniel Kelly is challenged by Hearts duo Lawrence Shankland and Cammy Devlin.

The German outfit have already done business with the Hoops in the past when they shelled out £11.8million for Dutch right-back Jeremie Frimpong in January 2021.

Boss Rodgers will be in no rush to part with the powerhouse middle-of-the-park performer and spoke highly of the teen ace after his spectacular strike during the double-winners’ romp against the shell-shocked Dens Park club.

The Irishman said: “He’s a young player I’ve loved working with since I came back. He has this incredible attitude. You can see physically how developed he is – his power, his speed, his touch.

“He is only going to get better and part of the idea and strategy here is to allow these young players to come in and develop.”

Now, though, the Parkhead side run the risk of losing Kelly for a nominal fee in compensation.

They picked up around £240,000 from Championship side Watford for winger Rocco Vata last week and accepted a cut-price offer of around £600,000 for Ben Doak, then 16 years old, from Liverpool in March 2023.


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