The future of Sheffield United target Luca Connell remains uncertain as Bolton Wanderers reject request to terminate his contract.
The Bolton News reports that, after giving a 14-day notice period, Wanderers’ administrators have turned down Connell’s demand to end his scholarship at the club.
The 18-year-old was hoping to become a free agent and join the Hoops. Connell was even pictured at Parkhead taking a VIP tour with chief executive Peter Lawwell.
Manager Neil Lennon also publicly admitted this was the plan, telling the Scottish Sun: “We believe he’s available on a free transfer and talks are ongoing.”
If Connell’s academy deal is terminated, the Scottish champions would only have to pay Bolton a £250,000 development fee. However, the Championship side are holding out for a transfer fee.
Connell himself has even said it would be “an honour” to join the Bhoys.
“Everyone knows Celtic are a massive club,” the teenager told the Irish Examiner.
“It’d be an honour to represent them if that’s what the final decision is. I’m keeping my options open and hopefully I can take the right one in the next few weeks.”
Where now for Luca Connell?
After it seemed like Scotland was the next destination for the midfielder – who can also play at left-back – this latest development has opened things back up.
While that is potentially good news for the Blades, they are not the only Premier League side interested. Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley, Norwich City, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur are also keen.
Other than Norwich, the others are all established top flight clubs and are therefore possibly more appealing.
However, in his interview Connell did stress he wanted to be playing wherever he goes next. That is something that could work in the Blades’ favour.
Connell broke into the first team at the Macron Stadium last season, making 12 appearances in all competitions. The Republic of Ireland Under-19 international was called up to the senior squad by boss Mick McCarthy last month.