By Alex Stevens
Patrick Roberts has been messaged by Manchester City’s big guns following his electrifying double for Celtic last weekend.
Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany are among the Eithad’s big names who have been in contact with Roberts about his displays in recent weeks.
The on-loan City 19-year-old is emerging as a key attacker for Celtic following a few early teething problems at Parkhead.
But he opened his account with two finishes in the team’s 3-1 win over Hearts last Saturday that were so clinical ex-Celtic boss Neil Lennon compared him afterwards to the world’s most celebrated left-footer, Lionel Messi.
Manager Ronny Deila then insisted there was no chance of Roberts returning to his parent club in the summer as there is no recall clause in his 18-month loan contract.
“I’m good mates with some of the City players,” said Roberts, as quoted in the Scottish Sun. “I sat next to Gael Clichy and Fabian Delph a lot and they talk to me.
“Joe Hart’s been great with me as well as Vincent Kompany. They all talk to me and keep an eye on me. But I’ve got a job here to do. I’ve signed for 18 months, so as far as I know I’m going to be here.
“If Celtic win the league they could play City in the Champions League and the club said I would be allowed to play in the game.
“That’s one thing my dad did say to them, he’s like that. He’d obviously love me to go back there and win for Celtic. He loves watching me play football. He comes to nearly every game and it’s his dream to see me play in the Champions League.”
Roberts had a difficult start to his loan spell at Parkhead as he struggled to earn a place in the team and failed to score in his first five appearances for the Scottish champions.
Deila, whose team can move a step closer to retaining their Scottish Premiership title if they win at Motherwell in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, regards the teenage winger as an integral part of his plans for next season.
In other Celtic news, Liverpool will step up pursuit of another emerging Parkhead star.