By Will Butcher
Celtic are locked in “advanced talks” with Championship club Brentford over a deal for youngster Theo Archibald, according to a report.
The Scottish Sun claim that Brentford are closing in on a move to sign the 19-year-old playmaker from the Scottish champions, as he remains on loan with Albion Rovers.
It is believed that the Bees are ready to offer Celtic’s academy product a three-year deal to move south to Griffin Park.
Although he has made just three appearances in the third tier of Scottish football with Albion Rovers, Archibald has been identified by Dean Smith’s Brentford as a promising prospect.
His performances in the UEFA Youth League have caught the eye of Brentford’s talent spotters, after scoring for the Bhoys’ Under-19 side against Man City in a 3-2 loss this season.
With Celtic boasting a whole host of attacking talent in the final third, Archibald has failed to follow the likes of Kieran Tierney, Callum McGregor and Liam Henderson into the first team.
The two-time Scotland Under-19 international can play on either wing as well as in the number 10 role, but could now be set to leave Celtic Park without making a single senior appearance.
Football Insider verdict:
A regular member of Celtic’s youth setup, the Hoops would be foolish to allow one of their brightest talents to leave the Hoops without even giving him a go in Brendan Rodgers’ first team. Interesting a side like Brentford proves he has the quality necessary to be given a first-team opportunity, and he should be given another year at least to prove his quality and earn a spot in Rodgers’ side next season. However, with the likes of Scott Sinclair, Armstrong and James Forrest firing on all cylinders in the attacking-midfield three, it remains to be seen how Rodgers could hand Archibald a chance in the near future as he continues to further his development on loan.
In other Celtic transfer news, Rodgers has said this about a Premier League forward the Hoops are reportedly interested in.