Date: 16th January 2020 at 10:03pm
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Celtic are ready to send Lee O’Connor out on loan- with Saturday’s Scottish Cup opponents, Partick Thistle, among the clubs interested in the defender.

In November the former Manchester United kid made his full international debut for Ireland in a friendly against New Zealand but at club level progress has been harder to achieve.

The incredible form of Jeremie Frimpong has made the right-back position the most competitive in the Celtic side with Hatem Abd Elhamed and Moritz Bauer left on the outside looking for game time.

O’Connor has captained the Celtic reserve side in recent weeks but will be looking to get first team action to accelerate his development at Celtic.

The Sun reports:

CELTIC are set to send Lee O’Connor out on loan – with Partick Thistle interested. The 19-year-old full-back has impressed in the Hoops reserves since joining from Man United in the summer.

But boss Neil Lennon wants Republic of Ireland cap O’Connor to get first-team games in the second half of the season. Thistle are one of a number of clubs tracking him across Britain as Celtic get set to make a decision on his destination.

O’Connor made his Irish debut against New Zealand in November and is highly rated at Parkhead. But Celts want the teenager to get more games under his belt and a switch to the Scottish Championship or English lower leagues would suit.

Last week there was one report that O’Connor was about to join Oxford United on loan but that seems to have been off target.

Moving to Thistle wouldn’t involve much of an upheaval but returning to England wold give him more matches to get involved in.

With a four-year contract Celtic have plenty of trust in the young Irish defender but the next 18 months will be a critical period after making the decision to leave Old Trafford.