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Catch 22- Decision time for Celtic winger

Rocco Vata’s Celtic future is in the balance with less than three weeks left to run in the transfer window.

At the age of 18 and well established in the Ireland youth set up the winger has long outgrown playing in the Lowland League but remains some way short of breaking into the Celtic first team.

Not since Kieran Tierney in 2015 has any player came through the ranks to nail down a permanent first team place with the prospects of repeating that growing longer season by season.

Without including prospects from the B team Brendan Rodgers has a first team squad close to 30 in number with two right wingers signed already this summer.

Vata faces a Catch 22 situation, aware that Ben Doak, nine months younger, is flourishing at Liverpool despite the riches available to Jurgen Klopp.

The Sun reports:

CELTIC won’t grant a loan move to highly-rated kid Rocco Vata — unless he extends his contract.

SunSport understands the Republic of Ireland youth ace, son of ex-Hoops ace Rudi, has attracted interest from a number of clubs, including Championship side Queen’s Park.

But with just nine months left on his contract, Celts are keen to first tie down Vata, 18, on a longer deal.

He’s currently part of the B team, which plays in the Lowland League under Stephen McManus and Darren O’Dea, but made his senior debut last December, and had four appearances in 2022-23.

Vata recently signed up to leading player agency CAA Base, amid talk he could be heading out of Parkhead. He has been linked with Italian clubs, and Hoops chiefs are believed to want an indication soon if the youngster’s prepared to stay, or if he sees his future elsewhere.

Celtic’s best hope of a sizeable fee for the top prospect would be if he was sold in the current window.

Some serious negotiations need to take place rapidly if Vata isn’t to end up in limbo, facing a third season on plastic pitches against opponents from the 5th/6th tier of Scottish football.

Most Scottish clubs are a month into their season with plans laid down although there is usually options available to sign players once the league campaign is up and running.

Ben Summers is believed to be close to joining Dunfermline but before Vata can contemplate that type of move he will have to extend his Celtic contract beyond the end of this season.

Yesterday Queens Park announced the signing of Ben McPerson on a season long loan, back in January Adam Montgomery joined Fleetwood Town on loan.

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