Celtic boost as ace set to choose Champions League over international duties - report
By Matt Lynch
Celtic’s on-loan maestro Patrick Roberts will choose to play in the Champions League over answering his country’s call, according to a report.
Roberts, who is currently on an 18-month loan deal from Manchester City, was expected to play for England at the Under-19s European Championships in Germany.
The Daily Record report that the English FA were looking to secure Roberts for the tournament, but the former Fulham man is said to be keen to impress new Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and play his part in the upcoming Champions League qualifying games.
Roberts has made 13 appearances since joining Celtic but has made a big impact finding the net on six occasions.
The promising youngster has also been an integral part of Aidy Boothroyd’s England side, but has recently admitted he has “always wanted to get into the Champions League and play”.
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With Celtic missing out on the group stages in the past two years Roberts said: “Celtic haven’t been there for the last couple of years. To get back there would be great for the club and unbelievable for me.”
England do have the right to call up the youngster, preventing him from being part of Celtic’s squad for qualifying but it is believed that bosses at the Hoops have managed to come to a deal with the FA believing playing in European encounters can only aide the development of Roberts.
The 19-year old has already been left out of the England squad which will travel to Mexico for a friendly next week. As long as injuries are avoided in their warm-up games Roberts is reportedly expected to be left out so he can play for Celtic.
In other Celtic news, Rodgers has made a phone call to urge a defender to stay put.