HIGHLY-RATED Republic of Ireland youngster Luca Connell visited Lennoxtown yesterday as he edged closer to a deal with Celtic.

The 18-year-old midfielder is poised to quit troubled Bolton where he has been on a 12-month scholarship contract.

Neil Lennon reckons he can land the player on a free transfer due to unpaid wages which puts Connell in a position to serve notice on the newly-relegated League One side and walk away.

The talented Liverpool-born kid has already admitted this week it would be a privilege to wear the hoops.

If the central midfielder is not allowed to be released for nothing, Connell, who was called up recently to the senior Irish squad by Mick McCarthy, could cost as little £250,000 to clubs outside the English leagues with Bolton in administration.

The eight-in-a-row champions are in pole position for the teenager’s signature, but Wolves, Norwich City, Sheffield United and Middlesbrough are monitoring the situation while Brighton and Southampton failed with bids in January.

However, it looks more likely his destination will be Parkhead.

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