Celtic and Hibs are reported to be in a battle to sign Johnny Kenny with the Sligo Rovers striker believed to have been at Easter Road last night for the win over Dundee.
Sligo got Kenny signed up onto a three year contract last month but that looks like a move to secure a proper transfer fee for the player who only turned 18 in June.
You Tube has a reputation for turning even the most modest talent into a Ballon d’Or candidate but for an 18-year-old Kenny already has the physique and ability to more than compete against the time served defenders in the League of Ireland.
Paul Nealon saying it’ll be a move to either Hibernian or Celtic for Johnny Kenny ?? He’s also being linked to Premier League clubs
Kenny was at the Hib’s match tonight ?? https://t.co/9qe7VKPXPh
— Rep of Ireland Player Tracker (@RepTracker) December 14, 2021
?? | Johnny Kenny
Celtic are actively pursuing the signature of Sligo Rovers striker Johnny Kenny.
The 18 year old scored eleven times in the top flight of Irish football this season with Hibs also very keen on the youngster.
— Everything Celtic (@aboutceltic) December 14, 2021
Paul Nealon in conversation with Matt Doherty who was on loan at Hibs in 2012.
? @mattdoherty20 publicly backs Stephen Kenny and his coaching staff “I guess we enjoy going away because we are coached brilliantly”
“I think I speak on behalf of most players we want them there for a long time.” Speaking with @paulnealon90 the video will be out later today. pic.twitter.com/zUs3SOgSF6
— Irish Football Fan TV (@irishfantv) October 3, 2021
As Liam Scales has demonstrated playing for Celtic carries a lot of appeal to players from the League of Ireland but in career terms Hibs will be able to put an impressive case to Kenny.
In the summer of 2020 they signed Josh Doig on a free transfer from Hearts and paid Dunfermline £250,000 for Kevin Nisbet. A year later Doig attracted a reported bid of £4m from Watford with Nisbet in the Scotland squad.
Celtic don’t have any recent examples like that with the cases of Luca Connell, Lee O’Connor, Jonathan Afolabi, Armstrong Oko-Flex and others suggesting that the club doesn’t have a system to develop emerging talent through to first team levels.
In the season just completed Kenny scored 11 goals from 23 LOI starts for Sligo plus nine appearances off the bench. Last month he scored against Bulgaria, Montenegro and North Macedonia in UEFA U-19 European Championship qualifiers.
CLICK HERE for Kenny’s Soccerway profile